Post 09:08 How to pitch to me more effectively

I had one of those hopeless pitches yesterday which was very, very hard to say Yes to.

PR: My client’s VP of Great Importance is coming. Do you want to interview them?

Me: Why should I? What could he talk about?

PR: He’s been with them for 16 years and he could discuss their roadmap since their recent big financial event or their take on  the latest big buzzword that everyone’s talking about.

Me: What IS on their roadmap? (Wondering if there has been any change since the big financial event)

PR: I do not know.

Me: And what will he say about the big buzzword? (Dreading the usual recitation of corporate-speak)

PR: I do not know.

Me: Please get me some information about what this bloke might actually say because right now I have no idea if he is worth the time or not!

Here’s how I think this could be done, far far better:

  • Give me the seed of a story idea, at least by suggesting me which of the outlets I work for your spokesperson is best suited to. Yes, this may sound like I am asking PRs to do some of the work for me, but on slim information like “this guy us coming and he is important” there is not much work I CAN do;
  • Think about readers and what they could get out of this interview. Does someone who buys technology really care about a company’s last quarterly result?
  • Prepare an angle or three, based on what this guy will actually say;
  • Do the above while being mindful that I have met so many visiting VPs, and most of them have said so little, that my start position is that all I will get is the corporate line.

Happy pitching!

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