Before you send out a pitch, do you test it by delivering it in person to a real human?
On one hand, this seems ridiculous. You have so much going on, you’re always racing to get the pitches out the door on time. And you’re almost always sending them by email, so talking it through face-to-face appears irrelevant.
On the other hand, a practice shot seems obvious. You invest so much time and effort into this outreach, and you only get one shot to make a first impression. Why wouldn’t you make a trial run?
This is not a theoretical argument. At my media relations workshops I have the participants share their pitches with different “classmates” throughout the day. During last week’s event in NYC, one of the most common pieces of feedback was, “Wow, practicing my pitch showed me ways to improve I’d never realized before.”
This is the reason I’m grateful I cut my pitching teeth on the phone. I’d prepare a pitch meticulously, and then as soon as I had a real human being on the other end of the line, someone with deadlines and self-interests and a soul, I’d hear myself switching it up on the fly to match their needs better. There’s an intuition that kicks in when you’re actually talking to someone else.
Nowadays when we avoid the phone so much, it can lead to us shooting emails out into the ether, feeling almost like we’re typing to our computer instead of a real person.
So for your next pitch, go grab someone else, tell them the name and beat of the influencer you’re sending it to, and try it out. It’s great if they’re also in PR, but they don’t have to be. Here’s what is key – only choose someone who knows as much or LESS about the subject matter as the influencer you’ll be pitching. This exercise helps you de-mystify what might be arcane or jargon-laced corporate-speak into an accessible “story” that someone will want to share.
If you find yourself flying solo, or you’d like to take your pitch reviews to the next level, that’s one of the things we do regularly inside my Inner Circle program. You can talk your pitch over with me directly during our monthly “Ask Michael Anything” session. Or you can get feedback from other members anytime via our private community forum. Members frequently post their placements along with thanks to their peers who helped them hone the pitches that earned them.
Now is the time to register for the Inner Circle Success Manual, because we will soon be accepting new members.
Before you send out a pitch, do you test it by delivering it in person to a real human? On one hand, this seems ridiculous. On the other hand, a practice shot seems obvious.