To Pitch or Not to Pitch

The word “pitching” always made me think of episodes of the Apprentice. Watching nervous hopefuls talking endlessly about how their ideas are the best, trying to persuade everyone and anyone that not choosing their pitch would be a terrible mistake. This wasn’t far off to my reality but instead of Alan Sugar I was pitching stories to Journalists. Which is a scarier prospect? It’s hard to choose.

It’s a long shot, sending an email to someone you’ve never met asking them to feature your story in their publication. Why would they give you the opportunity? Why not? Starting out, I thought how hard could this be, it turns out it was a lot harder than first expected.

As a Journalist I can only imagine how hectic their day to day activities are. Constant emails and calls from eager companies and agencies trying to get their latest products mentioned in an article, or trying to gain coverage to promote the new CMO who’s going to change the face of their company. These certain types of stories can make for a good read but what would make you pick one story over the hundreds of others you’ve received in your inbox? Understanding this is a vital point for anyone trying to achieve a successful pitch.

After several failed attempts of trying to reach out to key journalists, with a few resulting in the phone being slammed down on me, I thought I would revaluate my tactics.

While you can’t always get the opportunity to have previously met or spoken with the journalist beforehand, if you have then you need to take advantage of this when reaching out. Everyone likes to know who they are talking too and adding personal touches make you stand out from the other generic meaningless emails and calls journalists receive on a constant basis.

A key component to any successful pitch is simplicity! Why over complicate when you can simplify? Get to the point, be precise about what you are pitching and be honest. Journalists do appreciate honesty and it is important to show that you have tried to help them by giving them all the information they need without the added 4 extra paragraphs of nonsense.

However, if you decide to pitch, I would recommend to avoid BUZZWORDS. Your article is not “revolutionary” or “disruptive”, and editors are most likely to switch off after reading generic buzzwords they have heard so many times before, and are generally irrelevant to what you are pitching. Try to avoid at all cost, for examples of the most overused terms click here.

The Tradeshow Survival Challenge

Tradeshows. Every journalist, exhibitor and visitor knows of the challenges you can face. Working in a marketing agency we have to tackle tradeshows on almost a monthly basis. If its attending one or preparing for the next, it seems the next tradeshow is only around the corner for us and our clients.

From personal experience, my biggest challenge to date is having  to 'survive' a tradeshow. I wish I knew then what I know now.

3 Tips for Survival:

1) Comfortable shoes
 Your foot attire will be what makes or breaks your time venturing around at a tradeshow. Comfort over fashion is a must and be prepared with plasters for the amount of walking you will do.

2) Navigating
Map your journeys out logistically, think ahead and plan around where you need to be and where you are heading. As an agency we often have clients at the same event, meaning I spend my time toing and froing between them; which if you are a tradeshow amateur is a big struggle. Learn where everyone that is relevant to you is based and work out the quickest routes to get you from A to Z.  I can’t tell you how long I spent walking around in circles to only find short cuts on the last day of the event!

3) Emergency snacks
Yes, there are food stalls dotted around the venues at all tradeshows but with back to back meetings it is not always easy to sneak off to devour a Bratwurst. On the go snacks are a great back up plan that will save you from feeling weary and will keep you surviving. I can often be found grazing on the go at a show.

After all the planning and time, tradeshows can be a really enjoyable experience and worthwhile, but only if you remember to follow these key tips!

The CIE Magazine Awards

CIE  has announced it will be launching “The CIE Magazine Awards” to be held at the NCC, Birmingham in September 2018.

The awards will highlight and celebrate achievements in the Electronics industry, with voters contributing from across the industry. Categories include Upcoming/Young Engineer, Excellence in Innovation, Distributor of the Year and Industry Personality, which will each have five lucky finalists.

CIE launched in 1984 and provides a broad mix of industry news and technological trends with market insights, sharing their extensive widespread knowledge across the industry. CIE is one of the few publications to move into events and host award ceremonies that acknowledge the importance of the industry.

These ceremonies are few and far between in electronics and as a global industry worth millions, electronics deserves recognition and any publication to endorse this is a positive act for everyone that works within the sector.

The CIE Magazine Awards looks set to become another exciting event that many will look forward to celebrating and applauding the very best in the industry.