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Five Things You Really Need to Bring to a PR Pitch
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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If you’re looking to win new PR accounts — and who isn’t? — you will need to bring these five things to the pitch — and none of them is a stellar presentation, although that might help.

If you can answer these five questions well during the precious time you have available, you will be in the running to handle the brand’s reputation, trust, and budget.

1. Who are you?
What’s your ethos, pledge, and capabilities for handling an account of our size and scope? What kind of resources do you have available? Are you strategic, resourceful, creative? Will we see YOU again, or will we be assigned a lower-level manager? Are you proactive or reactive? What are the core specialties of your agency (PR, digital, brand, advertising, or all of the above)?

2. Are you capable in our industry?
What is your experience in this industry? Do you know our issues? Do you have relationships with our key media? Do your case studies reflect our concerns and challenges? Can you spot opportunities in our sphere of influence? What are your tangible results?

3. Do we like you?
Can we trust you? Do we want to hang out with you outside of business hours? Do you have a sense of humor we can relate to? Are you the kind of person that our customers and third-party partners would feel comfortable with? Are you a good reflection of our brand?

4. Do we really need PR?
Can we continue to limp along without a PR agency? Can we do this in-house? Do we have the skills, expertise, and time to enact what you recommend? Can your PR program get us where we want to go? In fact, what exactly IS PR and what will it look like for our brand?

5. Can we afford you?
How do you price your services? Do you work on retainer or by project? How will we judge ROI? Will you work in concert with our top managers and how much time will we need to allocate to "managing" your services? Will we save money by putting our marketing budget with your agency? If not, will you add value by working alongside our existing marketing vendors?

Either in your pitch or in your Q&A session afterwards, if you can leave the meeting having answered all of these questions, you’re more than halfway there to expanding your agency portfolio with a happy new client.

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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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