13th October 2014

Differentiate Your Sales Pitch From Your PR Pitch

Differentiate your Sales Pitch from your PR Pitch 



Every month I run a PR workshop at the British Library for entrepreneurs keen to raise the profile of their small business or service. The most entertaining and impactful part of the workshop is where we invite the business owners to role- play a phone call to the publication they would LOVE to see their business appear in.

In every workshop many of the attendees will bravely take to the front of the room, express their desire to appear in the Sunday Times/Vogue Magazine/Forbes Magazine… then launch into their sales or ‘elevator’ pitch. It’s a brilliantly useful exercise where both their fellow workshop attendees and I feedback on the pitch based on the principles I have imparted throughout, to arrive at a succinct PR pitch much more likely to engage the interest of the journalist at the end of the phone line.

Even if you have an effective PR agency communicating with media on your behalf, understanding and being able to communicate your PR pitch will ensure that during interviews with media you maximize on the coverage opportunity. While your sales pitch sums up your business offer, your PR pitch must tell the journalist a story about you or your business – a story which the readers of the publication in question would all find of interest. Here are JHPR’s top tips for perfecting your PR pitch;

  • Make it compelling. Journalists are bombarded with stories from PRs on a daily basis, to engage with them you need to appeal to their self-interest. Every journalist needs great stories, so package then communicate it as such and you are half way there
  • Do tailor your story for specific media. Understand the publication’s target audience and ensure it fits with yours so that a; you ‘speak’ in the language which will appeal to the journalist, and b; you make best use of your pitching time and target the media most likely to impact for you if they were to run your story
  • Traditionally contacting media by phone was accepted as the most effective first contact approach, however recent stats suggest that journalists prefer to be contacted by email in the first instance. When emailing keep your email brief and limited to two or three paragraphs and put your story headline in the subject line to encourage them to open the mail (which is likely to be one of several hundred they have received that day)
  • Don’t pick up the phone without having done your homework on the journalist, what have they written about previously, what are their specific areas of interest?

Generally newsworthy stories fit one or ideally several of the below descriptions. If your story is none of the below then it is unlikely to be picked up by the media. If however your story ticks several of the boxes then you are well on your way to seeing your business in the news!

  • Magnitude (a major news story)
  • Relevance (relevant to the readers of that publication)
  • Power elite (to do with influential figures or personalities in the community)
  • Celebrity (secure celebrity endorsement if you can afford to – simple way to boost your story’s newsworthiness)
  • Good/inspiring news (must be uplifting/inspiring AND relevant news to the audience of the media target – not just to your business)
  • Bad/shocking news ( Should not reflect badly on your client of course, but human nature dictates that bad news is sadly often of interest)
  • Entertainment value (Great images and entertaining stories always have a value)
  • Follow ups (to previous stories which ran previously within the particular news outlet)

Book via www.JHPR.co.uk for my next workshop Wednesday 12th November 10am.



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