Pitch Review: How to Revise and Revamp your PR Pitch

2015-09-23 by Ronn Torossian

Public Relations Pitch


For any business or organization, public relations is often one of the main keys to success. Having a good public image and interacting well with customers, clients, and others can go far in determining success year after year. However, as is the case with public relations, there are always times when certain campaigns fall short of their goals and expectations.

When a PR pitch fails, there are often many reasons why. To make sure future public relations endeavors produce the necessary results, it’s important to know how to revise and revamp a campaign to guarantee success.

Creating the Plan

While it takes tremendous amounts of time and money to create an effective public relations plan, the fact is there are no shortcuts to those plans that work best. The plan should always be the roadmap toward developing successful relationships, so any plan that failed previously should be carefully examined to see what if any parts worked and what didn’t. Objectives, which need to be very specific, measurable, and realistic, may need to be reexamined and adjusted accordingly.

Conducting Research

In some PR campaigns, failure can be attributed to a lack of research or perhaps incorrect research. A critical component to gaining publicity, research must be used before, during, and after a campaign in order to achieve the best possible results. Pre-campaign research, which is used to help define objectives, is often the culprit that leads a campaign astray and should be carefully examined if an outreach campaign failed. In many cases, using surveys to gather customer data can prove to be very useful as to the failings of a campaign. As most businesses and organizations are keenly aware, customers and clients are usually more than willing to say what is on their minds. Therefore, if the search is on as to why a PR failure occurred, asking customers or clients may provide the answers.

A Question of Credibility

If there is one thing that will doom a PR campaign every time, it is when the credibility of a business or organization is called into question. This is why it is important to have a clear plan on how to use the media during a campaign, for the media can prove to be an organization’s best friend or worst enemy depending upon the circumstances. If an outreach campaign failed due to a lack of credibility, all is not lost.

While it may be somewhat difficult to reestablish and rebuild a public image, it can be done much quicker than many may think. In general, the public has a short memory and in most cases is willing to give any business or organization a second chance. By reaching out to the media and working closely with them to provide the public with as many details as possible, credibility can be gained once again and a campaign that failed the first time can do quite well the second time around.

While it’s not uncommon for public relations campaigns to fail now and then, the good news is that by taking a close look at why they failed, most campaigns can be revised and revamped to create success. Key messages that need to be delivered to the target audience are always revised and revamped numerous times before the actual campaign is delivered to the public, and as a result increased understanding and awareness is often the result.

By being willing to admit mistakes were made and attempt to understand how and why they were made, virtually any business or organization can come back strong with a public relations campaign that will produce great results.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities