If you are training to become a PR professional you need to know how to pitch. Pitching is definitely a skill that you learn early-on (maybe in your introduction to public relations class) but it is something that you are continually perfecting. I’m confident that I can write a decent pitch but I know that there is always more I can do to perfect my skills and so I chose to read “This Is How You Pitch: How to Kick Ass in Your First Years of PR” by Ed Zitron.
The book is broken into six chapters. The first one starts off by introducing the reader to PR and quite frankly attempts to scare them into getting it the field (I was not scared.) Ed, he refers to himself as Ed in the book a lot, explains the difference between PR and advertising, “people don’t relate to advertisements, they consume them. They want to relate to stories, written by people smarter than them, experts like reporters and pundits.” Then he gives you an easy way to explain to your parents and friends what exactly PR is “PR is all about how your client – whether company, individual, music group, foundation – relates to the public. Central to this is their reputation.”
Ed makes this book really relatable. While this is somewhat a technical book because of the terms and strategies he uses, he definitely makes it very understandable by using examples such as Dave Matthews Band “cool factor.” Side-note I personally found this example extremely relatable because I also have experienced a DMB concert just because everyone says how cool they are. Ed says that achieving this cool factor is difficult but that your main goal is “to be effective, and that means getting results for your client.”
Chapter 4 is dedicated to pitching. In this chapter found myself noting three very important things.
- When pitching, all that matters is what the reader wants to hear and what they need to know.
- When pitching – your objective is to deliver the most information with the least amount of words.
- You can become the Kobe Bryant of PR, but only if you practice and play like Kobe.
I definitely want to be the Kobe Bryant of PR so from now on its practicing and playing like Kobe until that day comes. Chapter 5 is all about social media and if you are in communications you know social media is all anyone talks about nowadays. At this point, this book was published in 2013, Ed did not see the importance that social media would have today. He writes that an electrician company doesn’t need a twitter. As an avid twitter user and young PR professional in 2016 I disagree. However, I do think that if Ed wrote the book now – he too would have a different opinion.
Overall, I think this is a great book for PR professionals. Ed is witty, smart, and tells you straight up how it is in PR and that you will struggle. He doesn’t sugarcoat the business and gives you hardcore examples on how to get things done. Highly recommend.