Recruiting advertisers. New magazine. Pro-cannabis magazine. These are all hard.
There was a time, not that long ago, when selling ads and sponsorships in a “pro-cannabis lifestyle magazine” would have sounded like an insurmountable challenge in Western Pennsylvania. Things are changing though, because Gina Vensel is bringing Sensi - a free, pro-cannabis lifestyle magazine - to her hometown of Pittsburgh. Gina has assembled the sponsors and advertisers necessary to make Sensi Pittsburgh successful, and this week she answers Scot MacTaggart’s questions on messaging, strategy and how Gina and her team target prospective clients as they build the Pittsburgh version of a well-known publication.
This week, we get a call from New York City! Elyce Henkin jumps on the line with Scot MacTaggart to talk about how marketing and advertising work in the world’s most competitive theater market. Elyce is the director of partnerships and brand experience at AKA NYC, and her firm handles the marketing for major Broadway shows like Come From Away, The Prom, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Elyce and Scot spend quite a bit of time talking about how important it is to find and use an authentic voice and approach when you’re marketing art with a specific message and point of view, and also analyze how partnerships are formed with brands like Kenneth Cole.
We all need more Awesome in our lives.
If you’re not familiar with the Awesome Foundation or Awesome Pittsburgh, then you have to check out this week’s show. If you go to an Awesome Pittsburgh pitch party, you’ll leave with a smile on your face, after seeing a bunch of locals proposing off-the-wall civic improvement ideas in search of a $1,000 grant. This week’s guest is Scot’s friend Mike Capsambelis, a founder and trustee of Awesome Pittsburgh who gets to vote on these pitches, and a very smart guy who oversees projects at Google. Mike explains what kinds of pitches they get, how they judge them, and what he thinks you should do if you want your project to be selected.
Ingrid and Scot talk intellectual property, mindset and debate the idea of luck!
Later this year, Ingrid Cook and the SHzoom team will bring their long-awaited “Uptime” product to market to assist fleets with minor accidents and other types of service. Uptime’s release is the latest milestone on a 10-year journey that began when Ingrid had a regular job working for someone else. Along the way, Ingrid’s team has assembled a portfolio of patents, performed extensive customer discovery and market validation, and taken a beta version of the offering to test users. This week, Ingrid comes into the Epicast Studios to talk to Scot MacTaggart and the Pitchwerks audience about self-discipline, to debate about luck, and talk about some of the other paths that SHzoom could have taken.
Conturo Prototyping is the starting point for some amazing products.
Conturo Prototyping is a crazy place. They create the first few versions of new components so that inventions can be perfected and turned into new products. Right now, while you’re reading this, they’re building parts for new products that you probably haven’t even imagined, and they’re still a very young company. This week, John sits down with Scot MacTaggart to explain his company’s rapid success, the challenges of cash flow, and the business of building parts for autonomous trucks and mechanical lungs, and trying to level up so he can equip the International Space Station.
This week we’re talking strategic investment with our old friend Kevin Kelly, CEO of Rhabit Analytics, and Doug Reynolds, EVP of Development Dimensions International (DDI), who counts technology and innovation efforts among his responsibilities there. They came in the Epicast Studios to talk about their collaborative efforts, as DDI’s Venture Fund has now made a strategic investment in Rhabit, and to let Scot MacTaggart ask everything you ever wanted to know about strategic investment arrangements and the motivations behind them.
THE POWER OUTAGE EPISODE!!!
We did a show with Idea Foundry’s Jason Jones a few months back, but then lost the whole thing when our road kit ate the recording. Jason is a good sport though, and agreed to come back in to redo the show when he had time. We got him back into the studio, and halfway through, something major blew up on the utility pole and knocked out all the power on our block. NO EXCUSES IN THE PODCAST GAME THOUGH - we did the rest of the show with AA batteries and cell phone lights. You’ll be glad we did! Jason is a great guest, and Idea Foundry does important innovation and economic development work. Applications for their Equitable Entrepreneurship program (EE) are now being accepted through August 18th, and you are really going to want to tell someone about it.
Toni and Bill represent the Allegheny Conference on Community Development
This week’s guests are incredible! We have Toni Murphy, vice president of sales and marketing for Comcast, and Bill Flanagan, the iconic host of WPXI TV’s Our Region’s Business - and they’re in to talk about their work with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. Specifically, they’re here talking about “Our Next 75”, the Allegheny Conference initiative that brought a diverse crowd of 1000 locals into one room to talk about what the area needs to grow and thrive for the next 75 years. The trio gets into the methodology behind the effort, the brand and message work necessary to make sure that it’s successful, and where things go from here.
John has made a career out of democratizing technology - and now kids benefit!
After starting businesses across various fields, including robotics and software, John Feghali has now turned his attention to something for the younger generation. His latest venture is called Toaster Party, and this week we’re talking about how they are marketing their new product, Toaster Pets Animation Studio. John sees his whole career as a mission to make life’s best things available to everyone - and the Toaster Pets product is no different. The Animation Studio addresses one of the biggest requests that young people make of their parents: they want to make online videos. John says his cartoon video kit allows them to express themselves earlier, but in a safe and anonymous way. He adds that the storytelling process and a “build-on-your-failures” mindset prepares young people for the many jobs that will require the skills this product develops.
When a nutritionist impresses a WWE "body chick", you've got something special!
Super fun show this week! Milena Roucka - who wrestling fans will know better as WWE’s Rosa Mendes - comes into the studio to talk about Totally Fit Mama, the business she started with her partner Courtney Daylong. During the course of conversation, she manages to drop a number of motivational and endearing truths about all the major changes in her life the past few years, including the birth of her daughter, her retirement from WWE, the breakup of her relationship, and adjusting to a new life in a new city.
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The Pitchwerks Podcast