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Pitching to The Media as an Entrepreneur

Pitching to The Media as an Entrepreneur

By Tina Pettigrew and Johanna Pulgarin

The Ellevate Network team had an opportunity to attend WomanCon 2015, where the best and brightest women entrepreneurs, including several Ellevate members, convened in New York City to discuss what the path to success looks like for female entrepreneurs.

We sat in on the “Pitch to the Media” panel, which featured entrepreneur and media experts including:

Liz O'Donnell, Author & Sr. VP Public Relations, DoubleFortePRGeri Stengel, Ventureneer/ForbesVivian Giang, Fast CompanyChristine Lagorio-Chafkin, Inc.; and Catherine Clifford, Entrepreneur.com.

The discussion covered topics such as how to pitch your business effectively, what journalists look for when choosing to write about a business, and how to make sure your business is reaching the audience you’re looking for. Some take-aways from the panel include:

Frame Yourself As A Thought Leader

In order to be the person people come to, you must take your expertise and contextualize it to a current problem that has yet to be solved. Liz O’Donnell cannot emphasize this enough. You need to focus on the specific pain-point you are relieving and be specific in your message of how to solve it.

Don’t be afraid to piggyback off of something that was recently published. Bring your unique perspective on the subject and get the word out.

Christine Lagorio-Chafkin had an intern who had interned at several companies. He used social media to show people he was the “King of Interns” and shared his experiences. He made quite a name for himself.

Don’t Forget To Talk About The Business Side

Geri Stengel emphasized that when you’re pitching your idea, it’s important to spell out exactly how you’ll change the market. If you focus too much on anecdotes and pie-in-the-sky plans instead of on-the-ground, practical ways that you’ll change the current landscape, you’ll lose your audience’s attention. Tell them exactly how you’ll disrupt and they’ll be listening.

Vivian Giang added that you shouldn’t get lost in your story and forget to include the numbers. Stats, numbers, and percentages about what your business does is important to convince who you’re pitching to that you are looking to, or are already, making an impact in the market.

Differentiate Yourself And Do Your Research

If there’s a company who does something similar to what you do and you didn’t mention how you’re different from them, then you’re not getting anyone’s buy-in.

Catherine Clifford believes it’s a must to do your research and come armed to defend against any possible competition. Always show them how you’re different. Doing so displays your knowledge of the industry, as well.

The entrepreneur game is serious, and the success of your business counts on more than just a good idea. It takes planning, communicating clearly in your pitch and serious follow through.


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