Agency pitching: How to win the bid?

Pitching has always been the top-of-mind challenge for agency executives, with loads of contenders and only one winner. The client’s decision might depend on both objective and subjective reasons. Although PR agencies may not be able to influence their “chemistry” with clients, they can actively and thoroughly prepare these following factors:

  • Credentials

Credentials are considered as an agency’s resumé, which introduces an agency, their projects, clients, and outstanding achievements. The more diverse the showcased experience, the more credible the clients, especially the retainer ones, the easier the agency makes a remarkable first impression to clients.

An agency’s credentials are usually readily available, but you should make it more persuasive by making customized versions for different clients.

  • Understand the requirements

Clients usually provide the agency with a brief that describes their requirements and expected outcomes. An agency will then make a proposal accordingly to their clients’ demands. Nonetheless, there are also clients who will not prepare a brief and prefer to exchange ideas and share their requirements through meetings.

Dr. Clāra Ly-Le, Managing Director of EloQ Communications explained: “A brief is like a problem that an agency must solve. ‘Going off-topic’ is unacceptable. In order to score the point, you must ‘touch their heart’ with not only the right solution but also a creative and unique one”.

  • A proper proposal

A proposal presents the ideas and suggested solutions to clients’ problems. If the understanding about clients and the brief are “straws”, then an agency’s skills, experiences and creativity are what needed to “make bricks”. (As in “you cannot make bricks without straw.”)

A good proposal needs to be well designed in both content and visuals. If any of the spelling, grammar, alignment, capital letters, etc. is wrong, then the agency will be eliminated right from the beginning. Also, a presentation with great designs but poor and off-topic content is not any better.

  • Price is the decisive factor

Every brand wants a maximum result with a minimum budget, especially during this time of financial difficulty caused by the pandemic. With the plan still on paper, it is not easy for an agency to convince clients with reasoning like “you get what you pay for”, or that an agency could bring better performance than lower-budget competitors. However, it would be easy to understand if the client chooses the agency with the lowest quotation.

  • Presentation skills

Don’t flood the presentation slides with text. And don’t read them out loud like you are afraid that the client cannot read. This is not only amateurish but can also distract the listeners. The slides should display a vivid illustration to support the arguments. The word used in the conversation should be kept standard and easy to understand without overusing technical terms. The presenter must have a clear and persuasive voice, good control over intonation, and charisma.

Finally, remember that practice makes perfect!


Author Nhung Do is a PR & Communications Manager of EloQ Communications. Nhung Do has over 10 years of experience in journalism, book writing, teaching and content creation. Read more articles relating to marketing and communications at EloQ’s Blog:

EloQ Communications is an official partner of the GlobalCom PR Network.