Deconstructing The Pitch: Your best experience?
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
President/Editor-in-Chief

Deconstructing The Pitch: Your best experience?

All of them, of course, are winning efforts.

Arun Sudhaman

All of them, of course, are winning efforts.

Panel

Our investigation into new business pitching is a five part-series. Jump to the following sections:

New business in a new era
The ingredients of a successful pitch
Is pitch theatre a good idea?

The best ‘pitcher’ you have ever seen

SD: Stephen Doherty, international comms director, Diageo
KH: Ken Hong, global comms director, LG Electronics
MS: Michael Sullivan, head of consumer, MSLGroup US
DS: Doug Spong, president, Carmichael Lynch Spong
TD: Todd Defren, principal, Shift Group
CA: Clive Armitage, CEO, Bite Communications
AB: Andrew Bloch, MD, Frank PR

SD: Cohn & Wolfe’s pitch for Starbucks in 2004. It was an end-to-end pitch involving corporate, consumer and public affairs. What was good was that the offer and the team appeared absolutely seamless.

KH: A pitch we did for Siemens during my days in Weber Shandwick. It was truly integrated with advertising, activation, digital, media and PR all coming together as equals from the very beginning. For a complex client like Siemens, it's not enough to go in with just one solution, you need to go in with all guns blazing.

MS: Recently, MSL pitched, as incumbent, the Heineken USA business. We retained the business over competition from a wide variety of agencies.

DS: The hyper-competitive Seventh Generation presentation during the spring and summer of 2009. After four months and a dozen agencies tossed to the side, Carmichael Lynch Spong survived to make the finals along with three other outstanding firms. Our "Protecting Planet Home" campaign was the most holistic, discipline neutral presentation we've delivered to date.

TD: All of the best pitches I’ve been involved in had common qualities: we were given ample information to chew on; plenty of time to prepare; a fair bit of Q&A along the way was allowed; and all along the way the entire process was treated with respect by the prospective client. That’s really what it comes down to: respect for the process and the players, on a fair playing field.

CA: Sun Microsystems in 2005, part of a process whereby Sun repitched its entire agency roster (of which we were one). We won because we were able to put the right skills in front of the client in order to exactly meet their brief but, most crucially, we were able to demonstrate that we truly wanted the business. The hunger and desire to have Sun as a marquee client which would help us establish and then build our North American business was the decisive factor in the decision I believe.

AB: The best pitch I have ever been involved in is always the last one won, and the worst pitch always the last lost.

Our investigation into new business pitching is a five part-series. Jump to the following sections:

New business in a new era
The ingredients of a successful pitch
Is pitch theatre a good idea?

The best ‘pitcher’ you have ever seen

 

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