As the result of my recent trip to Israel in mid-June, I am fortunate to have several new business development opportunities with several prospective clients. One recent pitch had me on the phone last week with the CEO of the company who told me that all he wanted from us was our contacts.
I politely told him that while we do consider ourselves ‘well connected," that is not why our clients to be hire us. There remains an Israeli mind set that just having the contacts in place and being able to "push" our clients on to them is what will make a PR program successful. Hardly the case.
At the risk of possibly losing the account, I was pretty clear with the client to be that having or not having "the right contacts’ was not relevent at this stage of discussions. What was relevent was establishing some communications goals, understanding how we could help them update and refresh their messages, develop a great story, and then go out and conduct our outreach.
While he seemed to have understood what I said, I don’t think he wanted to hear it. Time and time again, I say the same thing to CEO’s and VPs of Marketing that we deal with in the process of pitching business and submitting proposals. What really matters is your message. What really matters is your story. What really matters is being creative in generating quality and substanative media and analyst coverage that is, for the most part, obtained not by some grand plan, but by the process of discovery.