Author: Kathryn Van Kuyk
An elevator pitch is a short description of what you do that can be delivered to a stranger who knows nothing about you or what you do in the time you share an elevator ride.
When you’re talking to a time poor journalist, you’ve only got 15-30 seconds to get their attention and make them want to know more about your business, product or service.
The aim is to win them over and make them want to know more before the elevator has reached the floor and the conversation can be continued.
An elevator pitch assumes that the person listening to it knows nothing about who you are, or what you do.
At Media-Wize we can help you put together an elevator pitch that while is planned, when delivered sounds spontaneous, non-robotic, the words natural and easy to remember.
And you’ll need to memorise your pitch, so practice it while in the car, in the shower and on your family and friends.
It’s also useful to have a couple of different versions. A long version that lasts about a minute and a one or two sentence snapshot.
Developing your elevator pitch will help you focus on your communication objectives and your point of difference.
The bridging technique is a crucial part of media training and an essential tool to master to control an interview. It is the ability for the interviewee to steer the conversation from any question that takes them away from their goal during the interview. This could be a negative or unhelpful question, or simply a question that doesn’t enable the interviewee to share information that may be more valuable to the reporter.
It’s important to understand that journalists don’t always know what questions they need to ask to get the best story from you. So, by helping bring their attention to an interesting fact they can hone in on what might be a better story. And if they don’t, at least you know you gave it your best shot.
Once you know what the bridging technique is, you’ll be able to spot it done badly often. Politicians are often a great example of how not to do it.
The key to bridging successfully is to acknowledge the question, answer it matter of factly and then build a bridge to where you want to go. For example, “That’s interesting, BUT what’s most important to remember here is that…” or “Yes, I’ve heard that, BUT what we’re noticing at the moment is …”. Then reinstate your key message(s) or shift to a topic the journalist isn’t yet focused on and share your knowledge/insights.
But, don’t forget the most important aspect of the technique is to make sure you acknowledge or succinctly answer the question FIRST before you build a bridge to where you want to go.
Media training is more an art rather than a science and therefore different tactics work for different people, which is why it’s important to practice mock interviews before you enter a real one.
The benefit of media training with an experienced practicing journalist and PR expert is that real world scenarios you’ll likely encounter can be rehearsed and messages refined to ensure you’re prepared to maximise the potential of every interview secured.