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Game Changers: Edwina Bartholomew Talks To Story Match Founder Dionne Taylor

Game Changers: Edwina Bartholomew Talks To The Indomitable Story Match Founder Dionne Taylor

She began her remarkable entrepreneurial journey at age 23 and has earned her reputation as an innovator ever since – first as the founder of the successful Polkadot Communications and now, with the game-changing app Story Match which is set to disrupt the media landscape.

In fact, Dionne Taylor may even do herself out of a job as a result … in PR that is.

The reason is her new app Story Match, which she has been developing for over two years, replaces the need for press releases (and agency fees), and better still; for journalists/producers, it means no more irrelevant pitches blocking their in-boxes.

After years specialising in building consumer lifestyle brands, Dionne knows the problems brands face, whether they work with agencies or not, to get noticed by the media.

Unhappy with ineffective and difficult her industry can be, she created a tech solution which makes the entire process more efficient – by building a free app which is now accessible to everyone. From her experience running Polkadot Communications, she knows more than most what a positive effect media coverage can have on a business.

After an extensive testing period with journalists and brands alike, Story Match is now available on both Apple and Android’s App Store for the pubic to download by visiting www.storymatch.com.au

“We achieved 250 sign ups in the first 24 hours,” said Dionne. “This is an innovative tool in an antiquated industry which needed to be reimagined and updated. There is a real lack of value that comes from conventional press releases unlike Story Match which is free and provides enormous benefits to all users. There’s also the added benefit of a Premium Service.”

No doubt Story Match is going to be every journalist and brand marketer’s Best Friend!

Here Dionne share her incredible story

You’ve been in the industry for 16 years … first as a journalist.. then starting up Polkadot PR.. and rebranding in 2013 to Polkadot Communications – so you know first-hand what works and what doesn’t in the media industry. What are the biggest pitfalls?

There are the frustrations of seeing antiquated methods of information distribution not keeping up with technology – resulting in missed opportunities and loss of time and money.

Dionne Taylor explains how she plans to shake up the media industry with her new app Story Match. Picture: Cliff Kent

What is the problem Story Match is solving?

Story Match is solving a number of problems. For brands, no matter how big or small or whether or not they have a marketing team or not promoting the brand, Story Match gives them the opportunity to connect with relevant members of the media. Obtaining journalists contact details is a challenge and keeping your lists relevant and up to date is time consuming and expensive. The process of media pitching is tedious and can costs brands thousands of dollars in marketing and PR fees. Here they can take control and do it themselves, or if they do have representation, work with their agency to get noticed.

For members of the media, they too often receive irrelevant story pitches, so Story Match allows them to choose only stories relevant to their industry interests. They also like to act quickly – media deadlines require rapid response times, and it can take a while to coordinate interviews and high res imagery. Story Match allows an instant connection between brands and members of the media through the immediate chat functionality, allowing them to file and publish their story quicker.

In summary, Story Match improves efficiencies for both sides, journalists no longer drown in emails, and brands can get noticed at a fraction of the cost of hiring a PR agency.

How is Story Match disrupting the Media/PR industry?

Story Match is changing the way we work. The traditional model of “brand hires agency” is changing. Our methods of communicating with the media is changing, the sheer number of journalists is changing, their deadlines are tighter and brand budgets continue to be reviewed.

We live in a fast-paced tech world, yet the media industry is still catching up. The traditional method for pitching is as follows; brand or agency writes press release, after multiple revisisions between brand and agency a final version is finally agreed upon, costing the brand thousands in agency fees. The agency then issues out the press release, mostly in a ‘spray and pray’ approach, to a database they’ve pulled together, most names are inaccurate to the angle of the release or have moved to other media outlets. The bounce backs happen, the declines happen, and most journalists simply “slide and delete” after all this is their 200th media release they’ve received today. They just want the story! They want to know the relevance, the angle, who’s the spokesperson, what accompanying imagery or assets support the story, but most importantly, they only want to read this if it’s relevant to their interests and the stories that they write.

Story Match solves all these prolems. It will change the industry as it will give journalists the chance to curate to receive pitches relevant to them. It will change the way brands or marketing people pitch out their stories to media and it will increase brand awareness due to improved efficiencies through an immediate chat function. The algorythm that matches the journos to the pitches ensures the content is always relevant. It also gives brands the chance to take their marketing into their own hands, reducing agency fees in this simple and effective tool. When brands get noticed, credibility increases, sales increase, and Story Match can make that happen.

Tell us how ‘Story Match’ works?

Journalists select from over 50 tags relevant to their industry and region. Brands publish a story pitch and if there’s a match on industry tags, the journalist sees the pitch. If the journalist swipes right the app connects them with the brand so they can have a real-time private chat allowing them to coordinate a story.

Story Match has been likened to ‘Tinder for the Media world’. How do you feel about that description?

It’s the perfect analogy – the swiping technology, the live chat and the matching technology.

Is Story Match a stand-alone tool or will it work together with Polkadot Communications… aren’t you doing yourself out of a job?

Potentially!  But as a communications expert I want to improve processes for both brands and journos to achieve an increasingly successful hit-rate in coverage

The intention is to reduce spend for brands and agencies with this fast, effective, and free tool.

It’s taken this long for the industry to shift, I am not suggesting that this will erradicate the agency model all together, in fact agencies are our allies. We would expect agencies to be users of Story Match. I am more focused on improving efficiencies and allowing all parties to do our job better so that brands can benefit positively from media coverage.

TV presenter Edwina Bartholomew meets Tech entrepreneur Dionne Taylor on the set of Game Changers

What is your vision for the future of agency land?

Story Match is the future for all agencies.. not just Polkadot Communications. We all need to utilise technology to better service our clients and the industry in general.

What are the biggest draw-cards or benefits for Story Match subscribers?

  • Journalists: it’s going to be every journalist’s best friend, putting the power in their hands based on industry interests.. preventing overflowing mailboxes (think delete, delete, delete)!
  • Users (brands): reduced agency fees and do it yourself
  • Agencies and others: more efficiently push the pitches out about your clients to relevant members of the media
  • End results benefit everyone!

Available on iOS and Android

Add website www.storymatch.com.au

If you want to find out more about Game Changers, contact [email protected]

Written by Presenter

Edwina Bartholomew is an Australian journalist and television presenter. The Sunrise presenter has covered everything from the Olympics to the Oscars. Now, as the host of Game Changers, she interviews inspirational people in business and entrepreneurs.

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