Power Pitching 50 - Q&A with Founder

24th March, 2023

To celebrate our recent milestone of 50 virtual Power Pitching events, we caught up with Courtney Rogers, Founder of CIJ Group, on everything from the creation of Power Pitching, to plans for 2023 and how to pitch successfully during an event!

Tell us the Power Pitching story, how did you think of the idea?

The idea came off the back of The Big Christmas Press Show, our annual event where brands and retailers come together to showcase their Christmas collections to the media. Our clients began asking if we offered any other collaborative PR solutions, around other key gifting occasions such as Mother’s Day. From this feedback the idea of Power Pitching was born! The events in the first year were centred around Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Homewares, Food & Drink and Beauty and they took place at a beautiful central London venue Carlton House Terrace, near Buckingham Palace; however they’re all virtual now since the pandemic.

How would you describe Power Pitching to someone hearing about it for the first time?

The best way to describe Power Pitching is “speed dating meets Dragons Den”. Our Power Pitching events are now hosted virtually, making them super convenient for brands and journalists. Each brand gets its own designated virtual room and they get six minutes to pitch to each intimate group of journalists. In just over an hour, brands meet on average 26 journalists across national publications!

How has Power Pitching evolved over the years?

We are now on our 50th virtual event and hosting them virtually has meant that we can hold many more events throughout the year. We now have a series of 18 Power Pithing events meaning we can support even more of the PR community! I think both PRs and journalists prefer the event being held virtually; it’s much more convenient for journalists working from home as they can maximise the time in their day and they don’t have to travel. This is the same for brands, who can be represented from anywhere in the country without costly travel expenses.

What do you think is the most valuable thing about Power Pitching for both media and for brands/PR agencies? 

Our Power Pitching events give PRs face to face time with journalists on a frequent basis and cement these relationships with quick, regular touch points. We know how busy journalists are and the amount of press releases that land in their inboxes - they’ve told us! Having this virtual face to face time helps brands stand out. For journalists, Power Pitching nurtures their connections with PRs and helps them learn about upcoming, new product launches without taking time away from their day.

What are your top tips and tricks for brands taking part in Power Pitching?

Energy and enthusiasm can go a long way; you want the journalists to feel the passion you have for the products you are pitching. The setup is also important, a great product display can bring products to life and get the journalists engaged from the moment they enter your room. We understand that pitching for the first time can be nerve wracking, so we provide all Power Pitching attendees with video tutorials, so they know exactly how to get the most out of the experience!

What has been your favourite Power Pitching memory so far?

There’s so many! Power Pitching has become a community event and there’s a super fun, lighthearted energy in the room. All attendees can request songs to play in the 2 minute breaks between sessions, with everything being played from the Spice Girls to Disney Encanto! We also love that Power Pitching can support brands of all sizes - we’ve had household names like Wayfair, M&S, Card Factory, Lathwaites and Moonpig attend, but also smaller independent brands who journalists love.

What Power Pitching events do you have coming up in 2023?

This year’s Power Pitching events cover all key shopping occasions in the retail calendar including Mother & Baby, Father’s Day, Back-to-School, Christmas and Black Friday. We’ve also got more US events planned so brands can meet international media and expand their reach further. See you all there!

If you are interested in attending a Power Pitching event and to see the full line up of events, please contact erin@cijgroup.co for further information.

CIJ Team