FAQ - for Clients

Why should I sign the PitchMark pledge?
Who should sign the PitchMark pledge?
What tangible benefits are there from signing the PitchMark pledge?
What happens if I receive an idea, concept or proposal that has been PitchMarked?
What should I do with the PitchMark Certificate?
What happens if I don't agree to the terms of the PitchMark?
What if there is a mismatch between the files named on the Certificate and the files contained in the compressed folder?
What if the vendor/supplier wants to charge me a pitch fee?
What happens if I receive remarkably similar PitchMarked ideas, concepts or proposals from different vendors?
What are the 'Like' buttons for?
Can I 'Unlike' a Member after 'Liking' them?
I am trying to Like a Member, but it doesn't appear to be working.
What if my company policy does not allow me to place the code into my email signature?
Can I sign the PitchMark pledge on behalf of everyone in my company?
How much does it cost to sign the PitchMark pledge?
How do I sign the PitchMark pledge?


Why should I sign the PitchMark pledge?

It is your pledge to show vendors and suppliers that you respect their intellectual property rights. It proclaims that you are a trustworthy partner. They will trust you more with their best idea, and they will not charge you a "pitch fee".

It is also one of the outcomes in Integrated Reporting, in the form of "intellectual capital" and "social and relationship capital".

You can also highlight your membership in your Sustainability Report, or the Corporate & Social Responsibility section of your Annual Report.

Who should sign the PitchMark pledge?

If you work in marketing, advertising, procurement or government - in fact, any position in which you are likely to receive creative pitches or ideas, join PitchMark to pledge your commitment to respect the intellectual property rights of the person who created them.

What tangible benefits are there from signing the PitchMark pledge?

It shows creatives that you are a trustworthy partner. You will attract better pitches from the best creatives, because they know they can trust you to respect their intellectual property rights.

Further, it puts you in a better bargaining position to avoid pitch fees.

When you sign the PitchMark pledge you will receive a software code, allowing you to embed the PitchMark logo into your website or email signature. This code will remain live for as long as you are a member.

What happens if I receive an idea, concept or proposal that has been PitchMarked?

Congratulations! You are dealing with a professional who takes his/her ideas seriously. There is nothing to be scared of. Just don't share, implement or otherwise use his/her idea, concept or proposal without his/her permission.

What should I do with the PitchMark Certificate?

The PitchMark Certificate is an important document which displays the date and time the Member registered his/her intellectual property.

  1. Read all pages in the file "IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ THIS FIRST" carefully.
  2. Enter the Certificate number into the search bar above to ensure that it was created by the person who sent it to you.
  3. Check the Certificate to ensure the documents you were sent in the same compressed folder as the PitchMark Certificate match the files listed on the Certificate.
  4. Ensure that any colleagues you share the compressed folder with is aware that you are legally bound not to share, implement or otherwise use the intellectual property it contains.

What happens if I don't agree to the terms of the PitchMark?

Alert the sender and delete the compressed folder immediately, without accessing, copying, sharing or otherwise using any other files in the folder you receive from the Creator. You are not permitted to share, implement or otherwise use the documents, or cause others to share, implement or use them.

What if there is a mismatch between the files named on the Certificate and the files contained in the compressed folder?

The PitchMark Certificate does not apply to files not listed. If there are any discrepancies in file name(s) or date on the Certificate, bring this to the attention of the person who sent you the compressed folder.

What if the vendor/supplier wants to charge me a pitch fee?

PitchMark users agree not to charge a pitch fee when they register. Therefore, their pitch should be free to you (provided, of course, that you do not share, implement or otherwise use his/her pitch without his/her permission).

What happens if I receive remarkably similar PitchMarked ideas, concepts or proposals from different vendors?

We believe an open and candid conversation trumps legal action any day. Best talk to the vendors concerned and explain the situation. This saves time and trouble later on, and avoids giving you a bad reputation in the market for stealing ideas.

What are the 'Like' buttons for?

We encourage our Members to 'Like' other Members if they have had a good experience working with them, and they feel the Member respects their intellectual property rights.

Can I 'Unlike' a Member after 'Liking' them?

Yes.

I am trying to Like a Member, but it doesn't appear to be working.

Log in first. Only Members can Like (or Unlike) other Members.

What if my company policy does not allow me to place the code into my email signature?

You can also embed it into a blog or a website, or refer to it on LinkedIn. Your vendors and suppliers can also enter your name into the search bar above to ascertain whether you are a member.

Can I sign the PitchMark pledge on behalf of everyone in my company?

PitchMark membership is for individuals only.

How much does it cost to sign the PitchMark pledge?

Nothing.

How do I sign the PitchMark pledge?

Click Login/Register above and follow the prompts. We look forward to welcoming you on PitchMark.

FAQ - for Creatives

Why should I join PitchMark?
How much does PitchMark cost?
What do I get when I sign up for PitchMark?
How do I generate a PitchMark Certificate?
How can I insert the PitchMark Certificate into my Word or PowerPoint files?
How can I express my opinion about how well my Intellectual Property rights are being respected?
What happens if my prospective client misappropriates my Intellectual Property?
Should I submit handwritten notes and sketches, or just the completed presentation?
What file types does PitchMark accept?
What if my submission is larger than 50MB?
How secure is the submission process?
What if I make changes to my presentation materials after I PitchMarked them?
Can I send the PitchMark compressed folder unchanged to multiple clients without having to re-apply for a new PitchMark each time?
What else does the PitchMarked compressed folder contain?
What should I do with the compressed folder?
Will my client or the nature of my submission be made public or otherwise be identifiable?
What happens if the recipient of my PitchMarked documents misappropriates the ideas, concepts or proposals they contain?
What happens if someone else registers my idea or concept?
What if I continue to send my pitches to prospects without PitchMarking them?
Why don't I just sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with the prospect?
What if I mail an envelope containing my pitch documents to myself. Won't the post mark count as proof of the time and date of my submission?
Why can't I reuse PitchMark Certificates from previous submissions?
Can I charge a pitch fee for my idea, concept or proposal?


Why should I join PitchMark?

PitchMark covers your concepts, designs, proposals, business plans, creative pitches, music - in short, any idea that you conceived and want to claim as your own.

It gives you peace-of-mind by signaling to whoever you share it with that you are its creator, and that you wish to be respected as such.

Be part of the movement that allows people to work together in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

How much does PitchMark cost?

PitchMark is free for Creators. There is no membership fee or pay-per-use charge.

  • FREE - generate as many PitchMark Certificates as you wish.
  • FREE - send the same Zip folder containing your PitchMarked documents to as many clients as you wish.
  • FREE - integrate the PitchMark badge code in as many of your owned websites as you wish.
What do I get when I sign up for PitchMark?

Creators benefit from the following:

  • PitchMarking of your important documents, which means you receive a PitchMark Certificate bearing your details, the file names of your submission, the date and time of your submission, and a unique serial number, to prove when you registered the idea.
  • The right to display our logo in your presentation materials, on your website gallery, or in your email signature
  • Promotion of your services through your profile page and PitchFeed
How do I generate a PitchMark Certificate?

The process is easy:

  • Log in to PitchMark.org
  • Click "Generate New Certificate"
  • Select all the documents you wish to send to your client and hit "Upload Now"
  • Once the upload is complete, click on the corresponding link in your profile to save the Zip folder.
  • Forward this Zip folder as-is to your client.

Make PitchMarking your pitch documents part of your routine. Before emailing your pitch to your prospective client, ask yourself: have you PitchMarked it?

How can I insert the PitchMark Certificate into my Word or PowerPoint files?

Sometimes you need the PitchMark Certificate to be inserted into your Word or PowerPoint documents. For example, if you wish to print your document, or give a live presentation.

To do so:

  • Open the Zip folder you have downloaded from your PitchMark profile
  • Extract the JPG version of the PitchMark Certificate that is automatically included in the folder
  • Insert it as an image into your Word or PPT file
  • Print the file, or use it for your presentation.

IMPORTANT:

  • Only insert the JPG into the Word/PPT files you PitchMarked. Otherwise you render the PitchMark Certificate void.
  • If you plan to send the presentation materials to a prospect, only send the Zip folder you downloaded from your profile. It contains other important information for your prospect.
How can I express my opinion about how well my Intellectual Property rights are being respected?

Go back to your certificate in your Profile and change the status accordingly.

You should do so proactively to communicate your opinions accurately.

What happens if my prospective client misappropriates my Intellectual Property?

Log in to your PitchMark profile and lodge a report under "Report suspected idea theft". A member of the PitchMark Global Legal Network will get in touch with you and provide one (1) free assessment to advise you of your options.

Should I submit handwritten notes and sketches, or just the completed presentation?

Include scans of handwritten notes, sketches and other materials which prove you developed the idea or concept from scratch. These provide you with additional evidence in the event of a dispute. However, be aware that the compressed folder needs to be sent to your client as is, so don't include anything you do not want your client to see.

What file types does PitchMark accept?

Your submission can include any file types you wish, up to a maximum of 50MB. This includes PDF, PowerPoint, Word and other documents, as well as photographs and Photoshop files.

Include anything you want, in order to document your ideas and put recipients on notice that you reserve all rights to them.

What if my submission is larger than 50MB?

Save images in lower resolution to reduce the file size, or generate multiple PitchMark Certificates.

How secure is the submission process?

Your submission is uploaded using up to Symantec SSL security encryption. Look for the green address bar in your browser. For added security, you may password-protect the documents you upload, if you wish, but don't forget to share the password with the intended recipient.

What if I make changes to my presentation materials after I PitchMarked them?

You should PitchMark your documents just before you send them to your client, to avoid having to PitchMark them again.

Can I send the PitchMark compressed folder unchanged to multiple clients without having to re-apply for a new PitchMark each time?

Yes. Once you have successfully created the PitchMark, you can forward the compressed folder as often as you like, as long as the contents remain unchanged.

What else does the PitchMarked compressed folder contain?

The compressed folder will contain your documents, the PitchMark Certificate, and other information for your client. You can open and review the files, if you wish. However, it is critical you send the entire compressed folder to your prospective client.

What should I do with the compressed folder?

Save it in a secure place, in multiple places if you wish. There is no expiry date on the PitchMark Certificate.

Will my client or the nature of my submission be made public or otherwise be identifiable?

This is entirely within your control.

You will be asked to tell us more about your submission at the time you upload your documents. It is up to you to enter as much - or as little - information as you like. However, the more specific you are the better in the event of a dispute.

You can also control whether or not this information is published on our PitchFeed. We recommend you opt in, because it again signals that you assert your Intellectual Property rights.

What happens if the recipient of my PitchMarked documents misappropriates the ideas, concepts or proposals they contain?

If you have good reasons to suspect the recipient has used your material without your permission, contact them first to try to find an amicable solution. If this does not resolve the issue, and you opted in for the free legal consultation when you created the PitchMark, you are entitled to a free consultation by one of our network of legal experts. Log in to your account and complete the reporting form. There is no obligation to engage our legal counsel. You may engage your own lawyer to pursue legal action, if you wish.

What happens if someone else registers my idea or concept?

You won't know until and unless someone else tries to use or sell your idea or concept. This is why it's important for you to PitchMark your idea, concept or proposal as soon as possible, so the date appearing on your PitchMark Certificate is older than anyone else's.

What if I continue to send my pitches to prospects without PitchMarking them?

Virtually everyone who has ever pitched an idea, concept or proposal has a story to tell about clients or prospects who misappropriated their ideas. In this internet age, unauthorised copying and sharing of your pitch documents is easier than ever before. Plus, it is quite conceivable that more than one person comes up with the same, or similar, concepts or ideas. So the sooner you PitchMark your material, the lower the chance that someone else beats you to it. Besides, PitchMark is free.

Why don't I just sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with the prospect?

PitchMark is faster, cheaper and more convenient than an NDA. There may also be times when it would be inappropriate to ask the recipient of your ideas to sign an NDA. For example, a new customer you are keen to win quickly. Or an important investor who is unwilling to sign an NDA.

What if I mail an envelope containing my pitch documents to myself. Won't the post mark count as proof of the time and date of my submission?

PitchMark works to deter copying in ways that a post mark can't. The PitchMark Certificate will communicate to the recipient that you take your ideas seriously. The PitchFeed publicises the fact that you made a submission and puts on record that your concept, proposal or idea exists.

Why can't I reuse PitchMark Certificates from previous submissions?

This will void the PitchMark. It is only valid with the documents in the same compressed folder. Any client who inspects the Certificate will be able to see that the PitchMark does not apply to documents which are not in the compressed folder.

Can I charge a pitch fee for my idea, concept or proposal?

No. By PitchMarking your documents, you are securing your prospect's respect for your intellectual property rights. In return, you agree not to charge a fee for your submission.