Don’t put the monkey on my back

By Gerard F. Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA

I am about to do a thoughtful rant on pitching.  Here is an actual note I received from Shanon.

Hi Gerard,

Congratulations on this special day! We wanted to wish you continued success in your endeavors.

Let me know if you might have a few minutes for an exploratory call, so we can learn more about you and your organization. Click the link and select a date/time that is convenient for you: Here is our Slideshare Presentation:

It was simply signed Shanon CMO, Some Company, Inc.

So it was recently my birthday.  No doubt Shanon opined that it would be a great occasion for a pitch on her employer’s business.  The problem is she is asking me to take my time to do her research.  Frankly I do not have the time nor the interest to do her homework.  So here was my response:


Why is it that folks who want my business always ask what is my business? If you want to be successful, tell me what you do and what value you bring to me.   To be honest “why should I do your work?”


Gerry Corbett

So here is my wish.  If you want to use a made up excuse to pitch someone on employing their business, do the following:

  1. Be clear and succinct about who you are, what you do and what is your value.


  1. Do your research. Google is free. Find out what I do and most important, how and why.


  1. Develop a thoughtful and intelligent pitch without any made up excuses. Be authentic, interested and perhaps engaging.


  1. Give it to your target straight and simple.


  1. And in no uncertain terms, tell your target what value you can bring to their business. If you are unable, unwilling or recalcitrant, save the pitch for your mom.


Rant over!


Gerard (Gerry) F. Corbett is Founder, Chair and CEO of Redphlag LLC , a strategic branding and communications services and counseling firm. Gerry also served as an Instructor on Personal Branding at UC Berkeley, Extension. Gerry has more than four decades of technology, PR and marketing experience in several Fortune 200 firms, is past chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America and an avid photographer, career coach and blogger.

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