Publicist Rockstars: “Make sure your writing skills are top notch” With Annie Scranton of Pace PR

Authority Magazine
Jan 21 · 4 min read
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Make sure your writing skills are top notch. Writing is the core skill for publicists and without good, basic skills, you’ll be behind the eight ball. Also, make sure you know the media landscape. It’s so important to understand the outlets you’re pitching.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Annie Scranton, President & Founder of Pace Public Relations. Annie & her team focus solely on media relations — that is, getting their clients placements on traditional news outlets in TV, radio, print & digital. On any given day, Pace PR has multiple clients on national TV — something that isn’t easy! Pace PR has eight employees and is headquartered on 57th Street.

Thank you so much for your time. I know that you are a very busy person. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Before working in PR, I was a television news producer for eight years at many of the networks, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News & CNBC.

How did you get involved in the PR industry

When Donny Deutsch’s show at CNBC got canceled, I was out of a job. A publicist I had been working with asked for help on an account (along with a hefty placement fee). When I realized how fast I had just gotten a guest booked, I knew this was the next step in my career path.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

I got my big break when I represented Jeff Ashton, who was the prosecutor in the Casey Anthony case. It was during that time that I also became a literary agent. Jeff’s book, Imperfect Justice, was a NYT Bestseller. That was a proud moment.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Currently we represent Business Insider and we place their editors on TV news programs. Many are writing about very current topics so we are extremely busy booking them frequently on cable TV.

What are you most proud of?

Sustaining a business for eight years that employees eight people.

Do you think the PR profession has changed over the past 30 years? How

Of course — just since I’ve started it’s changed so much. Things are much more charged than they used to be, mostly in politics. The competition is a lot harder so you have to change with the times and guide your clients even more than before to be nimble when it comes to cable news bookings.

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What drives you?

The challenge of running a business. I was an English major, who always thought I’d be a TV news producer. I never thought I’d work in PR, and definitely never thought I’d be a business owner. Keeping the business going, growing and profitable is definitely a motivator for me.

Based on your personal experience, what advice would you give to young people considering a career in PR?

Make sure your writing skills are top notch. Writing is the core skill for publicists and without good, basic skills, you’ll be behind the eight ball. Also, make sure you know the media landscape. It’s so important to understand the outlets you’re pitching.

You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?

Say yes to everything, even if this is at the expense of a night out with friends. Be open to meeting everyone, even if you’re not sure how beneficial a meeting may be. Just by being open, I think the universe helps attract to you the right kinds of people.

Which skills do you think are most important to becoming a successful PR professional?

Writing, hands down, but you’ve gotta be social! If you enjoy people, working in a fast-paced environment and problem-solving, this is a great industry for you.

You are in a position of influence. How have you used your position and skill to bring goodness to the world?

We’ve worked with various non-profits over the year and continue to do so, free-of-charge.

Who are some of the most high-profile clients you have helped?

They are really varied but we’ve worked with Joe Maloof, Rick Barry, Jeff Ashton, Gen. Wesley Clark and others who have a lot of name recognition within their own fields.

What was that like?

Truthfully, it’s the same as any other client. We treat each client the same, whether they are a start-up or a Fortune 500 company.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

There are too many to name. On a personal level, my mom has been the greatest influence on my life.

Which company do you admire most, and why?

Sounds boring, but probably Apple or Facebook. To take an idea and become that pervasive, globally, is truly awe-inspiring.

What are the top 3 tips you would recommend to get TV coverage?

Here, I made a video:

Thank you Annie for these excellent insights!

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Authority Magazine

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Authority Magazine is devoted to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Authority Magazine

Written by

Authority Magazine is devoted to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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