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Pitching (And Getting Coverage in) “The Wall Street Journal” Takes Time, Creativity and A Willingness for Patience

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Last October, I made a pitch to Mort Meyerson, former President of EDS and Perot Sytems, and to Ben Trowbridge, President and co-founder of Alsbridge, an outsourcing consulting firm.

The goal, of course, was to win their business, which I did.

In the pitch, I was going through sample media coverage we had generated for thought leaders that we’d worked and I showed them an example of how we worked with IP Communications innovator, Jeff Pulver

I politely explained to Mort that while it was certainly an impressive feat to get Jeff profiled in The Wall Street Journal, the reality was that our team spent almost one year working with several Journal reporters in the concept and development of what became a great story and great exposure for Jeff.

I also demonstrated how I’ve personally been quoted in the Journal as a source for my other blog, 3Screens.

Multiple Approaches and Multiple Pitches…

The fact of the matter is that we tried several approaches, with multiple pitches for Alsbridge and its leader, Ben Trowbridge. 

I knew there was something to the Alsbridge story in their approach with re-inventing the whole way outsourcing was being done, coupled with the interesting personalities of Mort and Ben.  Mort is a hugely successful businessperson who’s morphed into other businesses and does some pretty interesting philanthropic work through his Morton H. Meyerson Family Tzedakah Fund.  Ben is a former Marine and a straight-shooting, very exacting businessperson who keenly developed a sense for what made for good press. 

Being persistent and being a regular Journal reader, I finally tracked down one of the reporters, Jim Carlton, who happened to be doing a story on EDS and its Agility Alliance program.

I Didn’t Pitch Our Client; I Offered to Help the Reporter Who Needed An Expert Source For A Related Story.

Rather than pitching Alsbridge, I offered Ben as possible source for insight and comments to the story.  Ben knew EDS well, having been a former executive at the company and working with EDS as an outsourcing provider to Ben’s own clients.

Three months into the dialog of going back and forth with Jim, he finally interviewed Ben.

Even While on Vacation, I Still Worked the Story.

I happened to be in Moscow on vacation with my family when Jim reached out to me and I coordinated the interview. 

With the help of a few time zones, support from Alsbridge’s VP, Jeff Anderson, and my handy BlackBerry, it all fell into place.   

Yes seven months into the pitch, and finally the coverage.  See the story below.  Ben’s quote is on page 3 / paragraph 7.

Download hire_eds_get_microsoft_oracle_sun… – WSJ.com.pdf

2 Comments

  1. The bigger the story, the longer the burn.
    Unfortunately many clients do not understand this. Almost as many PR folk do not know how to explain it to the clients.
    Instead they reinforce their incorrect assumptions by trying to take a company from zero to hero in a couple of weeks.

    Reply
  2. The bigger the story, the longer the burn.
    Unfortunately many clients do not understand this. Almost as many PR folk do not know how to explain it to the clients.
    Instead they reinforce their incorrect assumptions by trying to take a company from zero to hero in a couple of weeks.

    Reply

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