Hello! My name is Emily and I’ve been interning with Company B this month for my senior internship. It’s been a pleasure working with Bonnie and the Company B team, rather than being in a boring office or doing manual labor, like some of my classmates chose to do, especially since most of my work has been centered on researching yummy bakeries in New York City.
#SMWSynthesio was one of the first events at Social Media Week’s 2015 NYC conference. And my very first SMWNYC event ever! For a little background, Synthesio is a social insights software, tracking conversations and monitoring social audiences to get real knowledge about your brand’s presence on the web. Read more
At Company B, we understand how important social media is to a brand. Not just important, but crucial. And although we are the busiest Company B has ever been, we’re incredibly excited to announce a new milestone in our brand’s own social timeline. What better way to show you what we can do for your brand, than to do it for ourselves? Read more
Hey there! I’m Kim, Company B’s newest social media marketing intern, and I’m very pleased to meet you! One week ago today, I graduated with a B.A. in journalism from SUNY Purchase.
Please stop asking me what exactly I want to do with my life, I’m 22 and I’m allowed to not know just yet. Read more
I confess. I have only caught snippets of AMC’s new show, “The Pitch,” a reality show where two advertising agencies compete for business within a one-week window. For my weekly entertainment, I’d rather enjoy the mock-pitches dreamed up by the writers of “Mad Men.” As a creative PR and social media agency, “The Pitch” cuts too close to the bone. I’m afraid my heart would race in empathy with the competitors throughout each episode.
The one snippet I did manage to catch was the end of the Subway pitch episode. I heard what I assumed to be the head creative guy bid farewell to the potential client by saying, “We had a blast working on this.” The potential client gamely replied (I’m paraphrasing) “We’re glad you had fun.”
I knew that agency was doomed. I was right.
So, after I watched all of this week’s addictive “Mad Men” content on amctv.com, curiosity got to me and I clicked on a segment featuring the CMO of Subway explaining “Why they won.”
What I learned from the two-minute web video was something that I thought I already knew but is worth keeping in mind, for those of us who spend a lot of time pitching. Even though the brand may ask for a big idea (they always ask for a big idea, right?) what they really want is a big relationship with you. They want to like your agency (consultancy, freelance singleton) a lot – and they need to like your really good idea enough that they can see its potential.
At the end of the pitch, it’s not necessarily the idea that will win you the business. A brand wants to buy your story about them — the way you tell it demonstrates your potential as a business partner.
How to do that? Start by showing how much you understand them. Their business, their competitors, their customers, their pain points. Then, before even sharing your idea, use your insights to take them to a place that they haven’t been before, but that still feels familiar to them. Color too far outside the lines and you risk them thinking that you don’t “get” them.
During the pitch, they don’t know you, so be explicit. Explain how you figured things out. Preferably, you did more than web research and got out and talked to people for insight. Share what you’ve learned.
Save those big ideas for last. You’ve got a seat at their table, so they already know about your good work. Now that they’re meeting you when you’re supposed to be at your best, they’ll also think that you’re smart. And because you’ve laid the groundwork, the insights will ensure that your big creative idea will be good and maybe even great.
Then, at the end of the hour, thank them for giving you the opportunity to think about their brand. Not because it was a blast for you, but because their brand is now already yours, too, and you will give it the fullest measure of your time and attention in your journey to tell their story.
Let me know your pitching tricks, what you think about “The Pitch,” and whether I should watch the show instead of the clips on amctv.com!
If pictures tell a thousand words, what do a thousand words tell? If well written and compelling, they tell a good story. Just as revising and editing is a painful but critical process in storytelling, as important is choosing pictures that matter, ones that truly enrich your narrative, illustrate your main point, suck the reader into wanting the rich, deep insight that you’ve supplied with your words.
I like to keep up with the latest thinking about measuring results in social media and read numerous blog posts on the topic. The majority offer truly useful information, like this one from Web Worker Daily calling for a new paradigm in measuring. The illustration that this very smart blogger chose? A tape measure. Another well-done piece, from techaffect, on how to assess the value of Facebook’s ‘post quality ranking’ was illustrated with a simple yellow metal measuring tape. A third interesting, insightful and useful piece from Brass Tack Thinking: “13 Truths About Social Media Measurement” took illustration to a new plane, by featuring a photograph of dozens of colorful measuring tapes hanging from a wall.
These illustrations don’t do these stories justice. They’re convenient and available, most likely found through a Google image or photobucket search. The challenge is that many bloggers don’t have the luxury of an art director or graphic designer to help add pictures to the mix.
Picture people surely would help. As storytellers, we know that illustrations can and should work harder. When matching illustrations to any kind of story, be it a blog post, press release, email newsletter blast, posts on a brand’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, take a moment to consider whether or not the illustration does your story justice, or is just another cute cat.
What’s your story? How do you match words with pictures?