Don’t Let Your Client Get in the Way of the Story

Your curser is hovering above the ‘Send’ button. You’ve checked your spelling, grammar—everything seems perfect. But take one more second before sending that next pitch and ask yourself: “what am I pitching; my client or a story?”

It may seem like a silly question but there is a difference between the two. A story is something that conveys information, ideas, emotion, and context in an original and engaging manner.

Your client, on the other hand—whether it’s a small startup, international corporation or nonprofit—is merely a provider of a product, service or idea. By itself, a company does not provide context or convey emotion.

As PR pros, we’re intimately involved in every aspect of our clients’ business. We’re in the tangle of every big announcement, but we’re also sitting shotgun during the day-to-day minutia. Having a 360 degree view of our clients and their respective industries is critical to being an effective practitioner.

But being that close to the action can have some adverse effects. One of them is tunnel vision. Sometimes, you can be so invested in ensuring your client’s success that you forget to consider the big picture: “what does this announcement mean to those who aren’t invested (financially or emotionally) in our company?” “How does this new product change or improve upon something that has already been done?”

To make others care about your client, you need to engage them with a pitch that conveys information, ideas, emotion and context.

So before you hit the “Send” button, just remember: You’re not pitching your client. You’re pitching a story. Your client just happens to be the main character.

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