This morning I read with interest a comment piece from Chris McLaughlin, VP of external affairs & Marcoms at Inmarsat in PR Week. It was a pithy and frankly well-argued article but one that also filled me with dread.
Trying to win new business is a choppy and often shark infested sea of uncertainty and one that is quite new to me. I have nearly 15 years as the client, the one opening the roster or awarding the retainer. Don't get me wrong it equipped me with a lot of knowledge of what not to do, I have had the pleasure of some amazing pitches that nailed the brief and went the extra mile but some pretty dire ones too.
But Chris got me thinking, for the new kids on the block, and those of us who don't have lots of people to throw at speculative pitches - seems that Chris is saying don't go there which is a relief - what can we do to get our names and our creds out there?
If I have understood Chris correctly it is less about quantity and more about quality. Resist the cold call & trying to make small talk with a stranger or the "We are amazing you need us in your life" email and try and tell prospective clients something they don't know. That could be some opinion research or a new way of doing things that you think you have the USP on. Be tailored, be personal and be you.
It's simple when you think about it, who really buys something from a door-to-door seller, or the 0845 calls that come in just as you sit down to dinner. Why would we think that is a good way to portray a brand and business we have lovingly crafted. It's time to think small but with big impact. As the saying goes, all good things come in small packages, and with Christmas just around the corner I think I am going to be putting that into practice, so if you get a little ribbon bedecked parcel from the You Say Agency, we hope you think yourself lucky as we will be thinking small...