When we buy anything in business, whether it’s outsourced HR, design, IT support or PR, there is usually a tendering process, which starts with “establishing a need” , and ends with “Make a decision based on a measured judgement of all the information”.
However, as seasoned practitioners will know, in the world of pitching for PR business it is rarely that straight forward, and the winning pitch usually consists of a mix skills, experience, knowing the right people, speaking the right language and a large pinch of luck.
We’ve won our fair share of pitches, and lost a few too. Naturally, the ones we win are down to talent, skill and being all-round good eggs (!) … The ones we lose? Well – there are many reasons for not winning a PR pitch.
It might be not having the right mix of skills and people. Perhaps, the result is a foregone conclusion, perhaps it’s simply decided on cost, or perhaps the agency just didn’t shine sparkly enough.
But there are always things to learn from winning … and even more from losing a bid.
So here are our five top tips to help agencies win the pitch
Finally, sometimes, you have to take the decision not to pitch. Or even, to decline taking the process further after the pitch. Like any interview process – whether it is for a job or a contract, it is a two way fact-finder. If you don’t get a job, it’s probably because you either didn’t have the skills – or more likely, because they company felt you wouldn’t be a good ‘fit’ into the organisation. It’s the same with pitching. The ‘fit’ needs to be there. In which case, it’s better to find out sooner rather than later. If you have been honest to your values, then losing a pitch is certainly not the worst thing. Being untrue to your ethos is worse.
So if you are pitching for business, good luck. If you win it – congratulations… but if you don’t win it.. it might be a blessing in disguise