Three Keys to a Successful Client Pitch

By: Zack Jones, Account Executive for PA Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association

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Image Credit: Fox2Now

With the presidential election drawing to a close, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump will debate tonight, 9 p.m. at Hofstra University, the first time each candidate will meet on the campaign trail face to face. Tonight presents an opportunity for both nominees to pitch themselves to the American people. As the saying goes, “PR wins elections.” In order for either candidate to be successful tonight, here are three strategies they will most likely incorporate that are similar to the strategies necessary for a good PR pitch:

  1.     Preparation is Everything

Both candidates tonight must show a mastery of the issues that affect the country. Doing so not only makes the candidate more comfortable during the debate, but boosts credibility with the audience. The same goes for a client pitch. PR practitioners must research their clients inside and out. Tools that are routinely used for this are internet searches. The purpose of this is to see what the public views when they search your client and interviews with your client and their staff so you can get a good understanding of the client’s background and culture. Often, SWOT analyses to test the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and threats of your client prove to be extremely helpful in creating an effective communications strategy.

  1.     Perception is Reality

For both candidates at the debate tonight, their pitch is to their cient – the general public. For most viewers, they are looking for someone who is calm, collected, factual, natural and knowledgeable. The same goes for a successful client pitch. Be yourself! If you take the time necessary to prepare, it will help to calm some of your nerves going into the pitch. Be engaging, personable and articulate. Make strong eye contact and get straight to the point. Clients can tell when you are “beating around the bush.” If using props such as a PowerPoint, don’t be dependent on the Powerpoint; rather, use the Powerpoint to accentuate key points of your pitch. Read body language and adjust your pitch as necessary. Clients who look engaged and focused often prove to be signs of a successful pitch in comparison to clients who seem preoccupied.

  1.     Focus on the Future

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been in the public eye for a very long time. Each candidate will seek to show how the other candidate’s past decisions prove them to be unqualified. The key to a successful pitch is to show how the past provides a strong blueprint for the path forward. Show in immense detail how your plan will prove to be successful for your client. Maybe your pitch is based off a previous PR campaign done by your client that proved to be successful, or maybe you’ve created a campaign that you know will be a success. Be absolutely honest and realistic with your predictions so that your client can set clear and appropriate expectations.

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