If a pitch remains superficial and rigid – i.e.: focused on a very specific sales pitch and not much else – then it is destined to fall short of its full potential and will most certainly provide a series of ensuing difficulties for the PR professional. If, however, the ‘pitcher’ and the company he/she represents are more open to true dialogue, the pitch can be a sure path toward true-mutual discovery, harmony and long term benefit.
Sincere or Insincere Outreach
The difference lies in the full intention of the outreach. Has the outreach been orchestrated solely for the coverage of a corporate announcement or message, with little openness for anything beyond that? Or is the company sincerely interested in becoming a trusted partner in the news-making business, knowing that this will yield immeasurable medium or long-term benefit? If the latter is true, them the pitcher and the organization should be more than happy to entertain story angles that are not part of the pitch campaign (to address any topic of interest to the media). It also helps, of course, if the company that is underwriting the pitch can commit to ongoing communications with media – versus merely waiting for the next PR blitz. That means embracing requests from media in between campaigns and, not to be neglected, communicating most (if not all) noteworthy corporate developments to media through the use of a newsroom or newswire. As you can gather, this implies a consistent and transparent approach to corporate communications and media relations. It also requires a bit more time, energy and resources. But it makes all the difference in the world
In my experience, media and other stakeholders (even employees) can sense a one-way communication campaign from a mile away! Having a short-term, myopic and inflexible approach to a pitch is usually indicative of a manipulative or at the very least self-serving attitude toward PR – and relationships. It is not fertile soil for a pitch and, due to its flawed approach, places a lot of pressure on the PR professional, yielding weaker results along the way as well.