To pitch or not to pitch… are you a good match?

Rosanna Machado | August 13, 2019



Have you ever been on a date where the other person constantly talks about themselves and doesn’t ask you a single question? You come away feeling disappointed that they didn’t take the time to get to know you or understand you.

Have you ever read a pitch document where the agency talks endlessly about how great they are and all the brilliant jobs they have done? Of course, we do want to know that the agency is qualified, but I believe the main focus of pitches should be about the client. Using empathy to really put yourself in their shoes, understand them and their issues and show that you can provide a solution to address this. I give you the Rosie rules of life for pitching:

  • Spend some time deciding whether you are the right company to go for the pitch – Do you have the right experience? Are you the right fit? Is it the type of work you want to do? What’s your budget for pitching? In my experience, this step is often neglected with time and money spent on pitches that weren’t right for you in the first place
  • If you decide to pitch, put yourself in your client’s shoes – what are their issues? How do they want the audience to feel after this event? What are their criteria for judging the pitch?
  • If you can have a face-to-face meeting (which you should jump at if you get the chance!), ensure you are using your active listening skills to get to the heart of the brief. It is rare that someone wants the same as last year. Try to understand what’s important, where the business is, the mood, what they have liked in the past and what’s important for this event. Be careful not to make assumptions and keep the conversation open
  • Think about the insights that you can add to the brief to take it to the next level
  • Plan the document before diving into the writing
  • Have one overall writer to keep the tone of voice consistent, even if other people contribute with content
  • Keep the language simple and straight forward in your response – if you are tripping over words, it is probably too complex
  • Be honest and show some personality
  • Get someone external from the pitch team to review the pitch – does it make sense to them? Does it wow them? Does it excite them? If not, don’t be precious, revisit it until everyone is happy

And if you are lucky enough to win, take the time to build a great partnership with the client, to understand them, their needs and how you can work effectively together to deliver a brilliant event