Oct 17, 2008
csalomonlee

That Isn't an Elevator Pitch!

The other day, I met someone the ferry, and we started chatting about our jobs. Inevitably, the question was asked, “What does your company do?” My initial reaction was to respond with the two sentence description that was developed via a messaging session. “My company is a webcasting and …”

 

She immediately stopped me, saying “No, what’s your 30 second elevator pitch?”

 

I suddenly realized, while a company boilerplate may be great for positioning your company, it isn’t great for explaining what your company does to others.

 

In public relations, I constantly have to remember this as I speak to new reporters unfamiliar with my company, the products and services. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about HOW to create a pitch to secure interest from a reporter. It’s about clearly stating what your company is in just one sentence.

 

Here are my tips for crafting that “elevator pitch”:

 

Explain it to me like a 6 year old

If you’ve ever seen Philadelphia, you’ll remember that Denzel Washington’s character always repeated this phrase when he wanted to break down something to the basics. It’s the same thing with an elevator pitch.

 

Break down what your company does step by step and try not to use multi-syllabic words. I know – it’s hard, but try it.

 

Once you’ve done that, delete EVERYTHING that is irrelevant to your company. Delete the adjectives that don’t add anything. Delete phrases that describe secondary aspects of your company.

 

With what’s left, you can create 1 sentence that explains what your company does.

 

So how did I respond?

 

My company helps you with all your online events – online seminars, trade shows, conferences, summits.

 

So what do you think?

 

All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

2 Comments

  • Very good point Cristina. Let me mull that over and see what works best =)

  • “My company helps you with all your online events – online seminars, trade shows, conferences, summits.”

    Simple, clear, concise… There still seems to be something missing, though… Your company helps me do WHAT with my online events? Add that word and I would say it’s complete!!

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About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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