If you’ve seen my free Publicity Guide, 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 in your pitch with your purpose, nothing else is going to be effective.
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… I know it sounds ridiculous, but give it a try!)
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, have a hard time finding any words at all? This is a huge roadblock for a lot of entrepreneurs. Especially if you identify with more than one business or title.
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 that you do.
Step One: Formulate Your Pitch
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, moms.
The results are your impact or what you help this audience 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 business owners 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. If we stop right here, you have a natural way to introduce yourself and a concise social media bio.
But if you’re using this for your media pitch introduction, we’ll take it two steps further to make it more impactful.
Step Two: Add Your How And Why
Add your why & how statements to your brand pitch and you have your own little soundbite that perfectly describes who you are, what you do, and why it matters! I give some examples in my Publicity Guide, but let’s use my story as an example.
When I was a TV news reporter, I’d cover a lot of grand openings. 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. 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.
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. 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, and 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
So when I launched my agency, I might answer the “what do you do?” question with:
I’m a publicist who (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.
Step 3: Practice and Send Your Pitch!
As you create your elevator pitch and media pitches, try out different variations (and practice them out loud!) until you land on one that feels right to you.
Your elevator pitch will change as your business grows. Just remember to keep revisiting your why and your how and incorporating it into your media pitch.
Already have an elevator pitch? Share it in the comments below!
And if you’re looking for feedback on your elevator pitch or more guidance for your pitching and media efforts, be sure to check out my PR course!