Pitching your way to success

Nicola Oldfield, regional business development and marketing director at GHC Asia, shares a few tips about what PR agencies can do during the pitching process to increase their chances of winning the pitch.

1. Questions, questions, questions

Asking plenty of questions is the best way to clear up uncertainties about what is expected for the pitch, she says.

“Check how many people you will be presenting to, who they are and what format and timing of the presentation they want, so you can bring the right things to the table.”

It is also helpful to review your pitch with the team and consider potential questions the client may ask you.

2. Showcase the right experience

Oldfield says: “People are key to the pitch. Make sure you have the relevant knowledge and experience within the team that is presenting.”

For example, if the brief calls for a good understanding of the hotel industry, then it’s important to bring people who can show this understanding and share case studies matching the client’s expectations.

3. Check in with your client during the pitch process

Body language is a useful way of telling whether the client is genuinely interested in the pitch.

“If there isn’t natural eye contact or the client is very preoccupied, then you haven’t captured their interest. This might be because the pitch is taking too long so don’t be afraid to check and ask if you need to move things along more swiftly,” she says.

She says clients being quiet does not necessarily mean they are interested.

4. Only offer a social media campaign if it’s absolutely necessary

Just because a client may want to be all over social media does not always mean it’s the right path, says Oldfield. She cautions against using terminology that may confuse the client and to keep social media offerings clear and simple.

“Remember, social media is a very human and highly interactive form of outreach so it is important that you present your pitch in this way.”

5. Set aside budget concerns, advocate the most creative ideas and scale back later

Because innovative ideas for campaigns do not always match up with the budgets and expectations of clients, Oldfield says she prefers to pitch ideas with strong underlying strategies which can be tweaked according to budget constraints.

“We would always advocate going for the really creative ideas first and then scaling back if necessary, rather than working the other way round.

“You only get one chance to impress, so go in with confidence, but be flexible. Ensure that you listen carefully to the client’s feedback so you can make the necessary changes.”

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