“Pitch and Switch”? Go small.
You know the deal: you were invited into the cool boardroom, and impressed by the array of senior talent on show, only to later find yourself imperceptibly moved to a different team, one with significantly less experience, glamour and firepower than was originally on show.
Sure, they might sit in for meetings and client calls, but suddenly it dawns: your ‘disruptive technology’ is no longer front and centre in the PR firm’s star focus, and you’re paying top dollar from your hard won investors’ funds for a junior executive to do all the leg work on your precious story – writing the press release, choosing the channels, pitching the story. Sure they work hard and do their best, but the truth is that all that earnest talk of ‘important messaging’ and ‘positioning’ you were pitched now mostly lies in the hands of a 22 year old just out of college.
You are not alone. This practice is so common that there’s even a name for it: it’s called ‘pitch and switch’, and its PR’s version of ‘bait and switch’.
Contrast that scenario with working with an individual PR practitioner. Independent PR pros are usually seasoned professionals who do all their own legwork: collaborating on developing your media ‘wish list’, working with you to develop and hone your pitch, advising on other channels to your market, and then implementing and delivering what was agreed. In person, and with nowhere to hide. Remember, individual practitioners are only ever as good as their last project, and they are 100 percent accountable for every outcome, so their reputation and yours become inextricably linked in your success. They are quick to react, and they will go the extra mile to get your name where you want it to be, without a 9-to-5 mentality. They want you to succeed in a way executives in a bigger PR firm never will.
For SME tech firms, it’s worth considering.