These steps were developed from the site’s Best Practice guide and are now a feature article currently up on www.gorkanapr.com ‘ This is a must for PRs and journalists who want to keep their finger on the pulse. It is the only resource that helps put journalists in touch with the right professionals’.
Pitches are “once in a lifetime” opportunities. The “perfect” pitch process can make the difference between success and failure. It will make great thinking and great ideas even better. Make the process itself a winning experience.
Pitch your best people at their best
1Winning is all. Pick the team most likely to win. Not simply because
they are available or have relevant experience. Note that sometimes the person best qualified to deliver part of the content may be not be the right person in terms of pitch performance and chemistry.
Questions to answer
Who, really, is taking the decision? How can you identify, and involve
them, early on? What are they looking for? What are their “pain”
issues? How will they take the decision? Who are you competing against? How are you better? How are you different? What is your story? How do you tell it, emotionally and attitudinally?
Ruthless timing plan
Create it on day one. Days wasted at start can’t be replaced. Fix key
review dates, immovably, in diaries early – key to success.
All meetings fixed should take priority over all other agency and client meetings. Difficult given client service orientation but entirely possible (think holidays) .Rehearsal dates, in particular, fixed in stone.
Clarify roles and responsibilities
Leadership, actual and perceived, is key to winning. The team leader
is responsible for delivering the pitch, and must be allowed to lead.
Beware too much democracy. RASCI - a recognised model for organising projects, is well suited for pitching. R, the pitch leader responsible, A, the management Approver, the people in the team who Support, those you Consult with and those who need to be Informed.)
Answer the brief!
Seems obvious, but so easy to be diverted. Make sure you answer the
actual brief before going wider, particularly if pitching to committee
where brave decisions are rare .Plan and rehearse all briefing or interim meetings with prospects, and use them to listen, seriously listen. More important than talking at them. Keep on delving to understand the real issues.
Keep on courting
From the first client contact, the process should ensure that everything
possible is done to develop the relationship! Review this daily.
Constantly review “casting and chemistry”. People buy people.
Aim to have the prospect rooting for you by pitch day. Seek frequent,
relevant, opportunities to meet.
Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse.
Make all rehearsals mandatory. Clear diaries well in advance. Build
forward- thinking about the pitch into daily progress meetings. Hold “walk-through” rehearsal several days in advance. Use this to plan pitch experience and theatre, roles and timings. Aim for two full rehearsals, key to confidence on the day.