By now, you’ve probably read my Guide to Getting Media Coverage. And you might be surprised or even disappointed that I don’t dive right in with advice on the glamorous tasks like pitching and on-camera interviewing tips. That’s because if you don’t lay a strong foundation with your purpose, nothing else matters.
Pitching your business to the media isn’t much different from telling your friends, family and random strangers in line at Starbucks about what you do.
Let’s test this out right now.
Me: Why, hello there. Nice to meet you. And what do you do?
You: (go ahead and answer out loud… sounds ridiculous but give it a try!)
Now how did that feel? How long did it take you to form the words explaining what you do? Did you stutter, start over, or worse, couldn’t find any words at all?
This is so simple but it’s such a huge roadblock for a lot of entrepreneurs. Especially if you identify with more than one business or title like I do: I feel a strong connection with being a publicist, a business owner, an on-camera host/reporter, and a mom.
If you want to share your gifts with the world, you need to be able to confidently share a 15-20 second soundbite about what it is you do.
I (what) + (who) + to (results) = Pitch Perfection
The what is what you actually do: teach, train, coach, sell, create, perform, etc.
The who is your audience: kids, business owners, yogis, women
The results are your impact or what you help this audience to ultimately accomplish: make more money, enjoy a stress-free life, have a natural childbirth, get more clients
I (what) teach (who) millennials to (results) become corporate leaders.
I (what) train (who) entrepreneurs to (results) overcome money barriers and find success.
My pitch: I help businesses to amplify their brands on-air, online and in the community.
For product-based businesses, you just tweak this a little but it’s the same concept.
So simple, right?
If we stop right here, you have a natural way to introduce yourself and a concise social media bio- I use a version of mine for Instagram & twitter.
But if you’re using this for your media pitch introduction, we’ll take it two steps further to make it more impactful.
And those two extra steps are: How + Why.
I give some examples in my guide but let’s take a closer look and start with a story.
When I was a TV news reporter, I’d cover a lot of grand openings and new businesses. And time and time again, I’d arrive to give this new business, say, a restaurant, a whole morning of free news coverage. And I’d walk into this scene: all of the chairs would still be stacked upside down on the tables, leftover from the cleaning crew the night before.
Does that seem like a restaurant that is ready to show the world what they have to offer? The media value of these mornings was around $10,000 in free advertising. And so many times, the restaurant would look closed, the chef would show up exhausted and unprepared and the manager would be clueless or, worse, hungover.
I’d frantically start helping them put the chairs down and get the place looking ready for cameras and live TV. I’d do a quick rundown of how the interview would go and give them talking points. We usually pulled it together in the nick of time but I knew there was a bigger opportunity for these businesses. I’d think, if only they had someone to coach them along on this process before their big media opportunity.
So, when I started my PR business, my ‘why’ was:
Because I saw a direct need for grand opening PR services with businesses in my area
Because I knew I could be a greater help to businesses if I worked with them for more than just 15 minutes before their big media opportunity
My ‘how’ was:
By using my first-hand experience as a TV reporter
Now add your why & how statements of your brand pitch and voila, your own pretty little soundbite that perfectly describes who you are, what you do & why it matters!
Practice different variations until it feels natural.
So for me, I may answer the “what do you do?” question with:
I’m a publicist that (what) helps businesses to (results) amplify their brands on-air, online and in the community. (How/why) I use my experience as a former news reporter to teach entrepreneurs how to harness the power of the media to get more customers. We specialize in grand opening PR and product launches.
Your elevator pitch will change as your business grows. Just remember to keep revisiting your why and your what and incorporating it into your media pitch!
Now you give it a try– share your elevator pitch and answer to ‘what do you do,’ in the comments below.