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Observations from the Southern C Summit: 5 Tips to Prepare You for Your Next Pitch Opportunity

Feb 22 2017

by Louise Pritchard

The Southern Coterie blog: "Observations from the 2017 Southern C Summit: 5 Things You Can Do to be Ready for Your Next Pitch Opportunity" by Louise Pritchard (photo Kelli Boyd Photography for The Southern C)
photo: Kelli Boyd Photography for the Southern C of (L to R) Steele Marcoux of Coastal Living, Eugenia Santiesteban Soto of Better Homes & Gardens, Jessica Romm Perez of Domino, and Tori Mellott of Traditional Home during the 2017 Southern C Summit media pitch session

 

The Southern Coterie blog: "Observations from the 2017 Southern C Summit: 5 Things You Can Do to be Ready for Your Next Pitch Opportunity" by Louise Pritchard (photo Grey Owl Social for The Southern C)
photo: Grey Owl Social of Brian Hart Hoffman and Brooke Bell of Hoffman Media during their one-on-one pitch opportunity at the 2017 Southern C Summit

The recent Southern C Summit brought together great minds and creatives of all types. Part of that experience included the opportunity for at least a dozen or so entrepreneurs to “pitch” their product, talents and ideas to some major players in the print media arena, such as Traditional Home magazine, Hoffman Media Group, Domino magazine, Coastal Living and Better Homes & Gardens.

I took the occasion to chat with Brian Hoffman and Brooke Bell, of Hoffman Media, and Tori Mellott of Traditional Home, to get input on what we could all do to be better prepared for to get their ideas across, so let’s get down to some basics on how you can be ready. You never know when the opportunity will present itself!

  1. Know your audience:

An observation of my small focus group was that most all of those pitching had not taken the time to research the readership of the magazines to whom they were presenting. Make it easy for them to say yes by demonstrating a working knowledge of their reader demographics. They will notice that you took the time and therefore you can tailor your pitch for their readership. This is critical; otherwise, you are wasting their time and yours. You can usually find these demographics on the magazine websites under advertising.

  1. Know why your product or service is uniquely qualified for their reader

After you have done your research this step becomes a great deal easier. If your demographics are similar to their reader, then you have a story to tell. Give them a taste of what your demographics are and why they like your product or service. For example, if you are a photographer, give them an example of how your style of photography aligns with the editorial content of their magazine.

  1. Be concise

A mistake often repeated during the Southern C Summit pitches was trying to tell them everything you do or make in 3 minutes. Give a quick overview and then focus on selling one specific idea. You want to leave them wanting more. If you ramble, you have lost your one great opportunity to catch their attention. If you focus your message and present it in a way where they can imagine either their readier or themselves using your product or services, you have set yourself apart.

  1. “Show and tell” when possible

Humans are inherently tactile. If you can let them see, feel or taste your product or service it will make an impact. Do not leave it up to their imagination. These editors are pitched all the time and cannot remember everything. If you are pitching in person, having your product in real life will make it more memorable. One of the pitches to Brian Hoffman and Brooke Bell was from an Artist. She had done her research and created mini memories of something that was important to each of them with her embroidery work. They were blown away and impressed by the research she had done. They now have a visual of what she did and her process of telling stories through her art.

  1. Ask for the order

Never leave the pitch without asking about the next steps. What will they need from you in order to write an article or use your services? In addition, follow-up with an email and a hand written thank you note. Lasting impressions are made when someone is touched by your brand multiple times.

[bctt tweet=”Lasting impressions are made when someone is touched by your brand multiple times.” username=”thesouthernc”]

To help you frame this pitch outline a little better, think of it like this. Say you have to write a cover letter to go along with informational material you want to send out and you have only three paragraphs with which you can articulate your message.

Good luck and be ready for your next pitch opportunity.

4 COMMENTS

Louise Pritchard View More Blog Posts from this Author

Louise Pritchard is an experienced professional with progressive leadership roles and a successful track record in cross-industry strategic market development, relationship management and business problem solving
Ms Pritchard brings her creative problem solving and critical thinking approach to each client. Her passion and drive is evident in helping each client to discover the "ah-ha" moment when new ideas and strategies transform their brand strengths into results for their company,
Ms. Pritchard founded Pritchard Volk Consulting, LLC, in 2001 after nearly 30 years in the business arena. Her experiences with FORTUNE Magazine, as Southeast Division Manager, Director of Marketing of Holiday Inn Worldwide, Director of Marketing of Egleston Childrens Hospital and other high level marketing positions helped her form the philosophy and process for her consulting business. She is also an Executive Partner at the Mason School of Business, College of Williams and Mary MBA program.

She is a Auburn University graduate and an avid SEC football fan. With four grown daughters pursuing their careers in various part of the country, she and her husband enjoy their off time visiting them in Charlotte, Savannah, Atlanta and LA.

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4 responses on “Observations from the Southern C Summit: 5 Tips to Prepare You for Your Next Pitch Opportunity

  1. Cheri Leavy

    Doing your homework about the magazines is so critical! You can then pitch straight to a feature they do regularly. Great advice!

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