May 16, 2008

How to pitch me

Slightly edited June, 2010 to strike out passe’ parts.

In a good new trend, analysts are putting up explicit “How to pitch me” notes. (Carter Lusher has links to some of them.) Here’s mine.

Part 1: The initial contact

  1. Please don’t telephone me.

  2. Please do use email.

  3. Twitter and AIM are fine if I know who you are and you’re good at getting straight to the point.

  4. I read/skim quickly. While I laugh at trivial press releases, I do look at them. (Edit: Actually, I don’t any more. The volume got to be too high.)

  5. Press releases or personal email should quickly make it clear what they’re pitching. If you feel compelled to spend two or more long sentences promising benefits or bragging about your company’s greatness before making it clear how they’re provided, please take me off of your email distribution list.

  6. Please don’t bother sending press releases that just brag about some kind of award or recognition, or that announce where your company will make conference presentations. I receive hundreds of such releases. I am favorably influenced by zero of them.

  7. Please don’t try to pitch to all of Computerworld or Network WorldBesides, I haven’t written for Computerworld since 2006, and you should already have known that. through me. The only way I affect anybody’s story choice at those publications is the same way I affect the rest of the trade press – i.e., as a source, blogger, white paper writer, speaker, or general industry influencer.

  8. I have a strong preference for meetings that are late afternoon or later Eastern time; if at all possible, the evening Eastern time (i.e. mid-afternoon or later Pacific time) is preferred. If this is difficult because you’re in an Americas time zone but your client is not, please get out of the way and let me arrange a time to talk with them directly. I do briefings at 2 am, sometimes, but only when they’re set up on very short notice.

  9. Here’s my contact information.

Or if you’re a Monash Advantage member, forget all those details and go straight to the Golden Rule:

Talk to me and/or email me your slide deck at least a week before you talk to other analysts.

I’ll help you make your pitch a lot tighter.

Part 2: The briefing

  1. I like to cover a lot of ground, including fundamental architecture, feature/function, conceptual use cases, actual customer experiences, go-to-market strategy, and competition.

  2. An hour is typically an appropriate amount of time for that.

  3. Please plan to have an interactive discussion. If you insist on going through a slide presentation, one slide after another, in loving detail … well, it’s unlikely to be a good meeting.

  4. In particular, please don’t use desktop-shared slides. Email any PowerPoints in advance. Note: And I specifically mean “in advance.” If you don’t send the email until 2 minutes into the call, I may not have it until 15 have elapsed. I will not log in to a WebEx/GoToMeeting to look at slides. If you send me such a log-in (and it’s not for a demo), my opinion of you will be significantly lowered.

  5. Please have a technically knowledgeable company representative on the call.

  6. Please have your presenters be at least somewhat familiar with what I write about your area. Note: Most of my research is free to the public, and it’s easy to figure out where I write about what.

  7. Please don’t ask for a lot of free consulting. Consulting is how I pay my bills.

Related links:


4 Responses to “How to pitch me”

  1. Carter Lusher on June 28th, 2008 5:38 pm

    Hi Curt, Great post. I especially like you encourage clients to use you to help make their briefings with other analysts stronger.

    I added this to the “Analyst Tips for AR” Page

  2. A great example of influencer outreach | Strategic Messaging on March 9th, 2009 11:33 am

    […] “How to pitch me” post was already arrogant enough.  I don’t want to repeatedly conflate “This is […]

  3. Death to PowerPoints | Strategic Messaging on June 21st, 2010 6:51 am

    […] hate traditional PowerPoint presentations. Indeed, I usually flat-out refuse any briefing that involves sitting through a WebEx of PowerPoints. Instead, I insist that slides be emailed in advance. That way, I can see what the key points are, […]

  4. Marketing communication tips | Strategic Messaging on December 9th, 2012 5:46 am

    […] of the differences can be handled just by asking how they like to work (for example, I have a whole how to pitch me post). Beyond that, the right person to lead an important relationship […]

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