I recently attended a meeting where author Marie Perruchet discussed her new book, One Perfect Pitch. As an accomplished broadcast and radio journalist, Perruchet has perfected the art of conveying information in a concise yet compelling way. Based in the Bay area, she now works with firms from start-ups to corporations on perfecting their stories and pitches.
Listening to Perruchet explain her technique, I found myself nodding along and agreeing with her every word, especially when she equated pitching to having an elevated conversation. Whether you’re trying to sign a new client, convince investors, or persuade colleagues, a pitch is one of many conversations we conduct everyday – and it is the cornerstone of public relations.
Creating a compelling story is a component of public relations that is often overlooked as unnecessary – particularly by small businesses, start ups, and firms with limited budgets. Though media pitches and crisis management compose one part of a public relations strategy, your pitch to a target audience starts long before diving into any type of marketing. Perfecting your pitch is not something only entrepreneurs engage in to earn funding and garner media coverage. Rather, your pitch (your story) forms the basis for building a brand, and more importantly, a tangible connection to your target audience. When your audience knows your name and exactly what your firm offers, marketing efforts are likely to be more responsive and successful.
A simple story (your pitch!) is one that succinctly explains your mission and the problem your firm/product/service addresses. So rather than dismiss a public relations strategy in favor of mainstream marketing, consider the benefit of a carefully crafted message, especially one that can be modified to relate to your audience. With social media platforms and online media outlets galore, small businesses in particular have even more opportunities to make their pitches to the right audience in the right place at the right time.
Incorporated with marketing efforts, a thoughtful public relations strategy, designed to inform the public about who you are and what you do, will ensure your firm’s advertising dollars don’t go to waste. So why wait? Perfect your pitch today.
Want to see the power of a great story in action? Check out the Significant Objects Project. It’s a fascinating experiment conducted by two writers who explored the impact of narrative on the value of trivial objects. Contributing writers crafted short descriptions for trinkets (items valued at $1.25 or less), which were then auctioned on eBay. The items sold for well over the valued price, due entirely to a simple story.