Often winning the most lucrative B2B tech PR clients requires entering a competitive pitch. These need meticulous preparation and a confident, slick team to deliver a presentation that knocks the prospect’s socks off. If you’re considering stepping into the ring of competitive pitching to nab a major client, your presentation had better impress or it’s not worth your time, particularly if you are up against the PR heavyweights who will no doubt send their dedicated pitching teams.
Here are our top 10 tools and apps (most of them free or dirt cheap) that will make crafting a killer pitch that little bit easier.
It almost goes without saying these days that PowerPoint is dead. Unless you know it inside out, presentations made on PowerPoint can all too easily end up looking like they were made by a high school student. Prezi is free online software that makes impressive, seamless presentations that keep audiences engaged. If you know how to use PowerPoint then Prezi isn’t much of a leap – it’s very user friendly.
Currently in beta testing, Easel.ly is a free infographics tool that lets you create sharp, beautiful infographics. It takes a few minutes to get a feel for it and has a handful of glitches, but with a bit of creativity you can quickly put together basic infographics which can then be hosted on your website, blog, or shared privately online.
Despite what the sceptics say, Pinterest is big business and far from the preserve of the “North American mother” demographic. It boasts some of the best brand engagement and sales conversion stats around and it’s a perfect host for your case studies and coverage examples. Create beautiful boards and send them to your prospects just before your pitch meeting. It will show them that you practice what you preach about social media, and make sharing your results with other people in their company a one-click job.
Part of Moz.com, the Open Site Explorer tool helps you to gain an idea of a prospect’s inbound marketing efforts. If they are a huge company but struggling to rank for major keywords or sitting proudly in the top spot you will be able to recognise how they value online performance and alter your pitch accordingly.
Do you have a gorgeous infographic that shows off your PR credentials? Take it to a user-friendly extreme by placing an HTML image map of hyperlinks over the top. When your prospects are weighing up your results over another PR agency’s they can use your infographic as a hyperlinked one-stop-shop of useful sales information.
If you’re struggling to find a decent-sized prospect logo or image to put into your presentation, use Gadwin Printscreen to take a high resolution print screen of it, and then mock it up in Paint (don’t scoff, everyone uses it). Simple, but it works.
This is the digital PR pro’s best friend. Follow up your sales pitch with some subtle LinkedIn advertising. You can narrow your audience right down to company, office location and job role, making it an incredibly targeted way to get your messaging and brand in front of a prospect for the duration of its decision-making process. Experiment with targeting and PPC budgets to find a mix that yields the best results (quality and relevance over quantity) for your buck.
With this, you can gauge the number of people your prospect targets and learn about their interests, habits and dislikes. It works much the same as the LinkedIn advertising tool, except you can learn about stakeholders on a much more personal level.
Goodbye, confusing Companies House website. Duedil is a relatively young startup that presents Companies House information in easily searchable, crystal clear detail. If you’re doing in-depth research on a new prospect, this one is well worth a visit.
Last, but certainly not least is CityMapper. While it’s not free (£0.69 at last count), it has every scrap of available travel information in one place so you won’t suffer the ultimate humiliation of being late for your first encounter with a potential client. No more rushing from Google Maps to TFL, to National Rail, to NextBus. It’s all here. It will even tell you how many calories you’ll burn on the journey if you choose to walk.
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog is managed by b2b pr specialist Heather Baker, founder TopLine Comms, an inbound marketing, B2B content marketing agency and proud HubSpot partner agency and takes contribution from anyone sensible in the industry with something intelligent to say. Follow Heather on Twitter @TopLineFounder or contact her via email on [email protected].
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