I’ve worked in PR and communications for over 25 years, in agencies, in-house and in politics.
You won’t be surprised to hear I’ve done my fair share of pitches.
Getting good feedback is difficult. When I’ve won I’ve just got straight on with the job and when I’ve lost and asked for feedback, it’s generally superficial. People sweeten it, worried they’ll offend. But it means it’s difficult to know what to change next time.
At the moment I’m project managing the development of a new website for one of my clients. This week we held the pitches. Mindful of my experiences I made sure I gave the winners and losers feedback they could use.
Each agency put together a good response. They were all on budget and could show a relevant track record. We chose the one we felt had done the research needed to get to know us and understand our culture. With the extra leg-work they put in they adapted their approach to suit us.
It’s a good point to bear in mind with all PR and communication. Whether you’re pitching a story to a journalist or driving change through your business it’s about them, not you. Understand them, what makes them tick, then adapt your approach to suit.
Shoving your perspective in their face won’t get you anywhere.