As a communications student, taking a public relations campaigns course, we learned the “Do’s and Don’ts” of pitching campaigns to clients. As you sit through 6 different presentations by different groups, you learn what works well and what doesn’t, what is unique and innovative, and what should be avoided. When you stack various campaign presentations on top of one another, the lines of A+ work from B+ work, are clearly drawn. The following are tips for any advanced public relations student or young professional, when they need to pitch a campaign to a client. The following tips also contributed to earning 100% satisfaction by the client to whom we presented.
- Presentation: Whether you are presenting with a group, or by yourself, the way you present yourself, has a direct reflection on the way your campaign is received. Make sure you are dressed appropriately. If the client you are pitching to has specific logo colors, try to accent that in your clothing. For example, The Charlotte Museum of History’s signature logo color is maroon. Wearing a maroon colored sweater or blouse during your presentation will entice your client. They will notice this. If you are pitching as a group, know who speaks when, who will manage all aspects of the presentation, such as PowerPoint, Prezi, distribution of flyers, rack cards, etc. Sounding polished without jargon and using correct grammar is a must. Incorporating these into your presentation will add to your credibility as a presenter, and in return will convince your client of your professionalism.
- Introduction: NEVER begin by saying “Good morning and thank you for coming, today we are going to talk about ______.” This is boring and sounds like a presentation from a high school student. Be innovative in your opening. Use a quote that relates to your campaign or your client. Start with an interactive activity for the client or present an interesting visual that ties into your campaign topic.
- Client Interaction: After catching the client’s attention in the introduction of your campaign pitch, don’t stop. Far too many times, the presenters just stop after a unique introduction and then the client is left to zone out or become lost in the remainder of the presentation. Re-capturing their attention every 3-5 minutes is helpful, not only to add creativity to your campaign, but also to engage your client. For example, if you have planned an event for your client, show them what that event would look like. Create a vision board, filled with pictures and statistics to justify ways and means for everything. While you show them what their event would look like, play classical music in the background to set the mood, like you would during the event. If your event includes refreshments for attending guests, give your client light refreshments during the presentation. They will appreciate the extra effort you put in, but they will also be more likely to believe in the success of the campaign if they enjoyed the presentation of it.
- Attention to Detail: The detail used in a campaign is what sets the campaign and presenter or creator apart from others. It is important that your ideas for the campaign are executed. Simply stating what you want to do is nice, but a client will understand and most likely accept a campaign that is visual and detailed with all elements of what the campaign entails. For example, if you are pitching a social media campaign to a client and you plan to include a social media contest in the campaign, include an example of what the contest could potentially look like, in the presentation. Mock twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts with example graphics and status updates will prove to the client that you know how to implement your plan for the contest.
- Conclusion: Always make sure to summarize all of the main points you stated throughout your presentation. Do not simply say, “thank you for your time and this is the end of our presentation.” Just like in an introduction, the key to a successful campaign is tying everything together in a unique way. In conclusion, draw the client back in, referencing something in the creative introduction or use a powerful quote to wrap everything up. The feeling the client has at the end of the presentation reflects on how they feel about the entire campaign. End strong to finalize a fantastic campaign pitch to a client.
Post by Kathleen Duckworth, Newly appointed CEO
Kathleen is a senior at UNC Charlotte. She has experience in social media public relations as well as event planning and has secured a marketing and PR internship for the spring semester.