If you are in the communications business, you have no doubt been studying the text and delivery of newly inaugurated President Barack Obama’s speeches. At Kaye PR, we are inspired by the President’s communications skills and we can’t help but wonder if he has explored the “Elevator Pitch” concept at some point in his career.
The Elevator Pitch was first introduced in 1991 by Geoffrey Moore in his influential book Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers. As Moore defined it, an Elevator Pitch is a 50-word overview of an idea for a company, product or service that can be delivered in about thirty seconds – or the time it takes to reach your floor in an elevator. The premise is that you’ll likely run into someone in the elevator at a conference who can influence your success — and you’d better be able to quickly and crisply describe your idea.
The Elevator Pitch also applies to many other forms of communication. If you’re pitching journalists on your story or venture capitalists to secure funding for your company, thirty seconds may be all the time you get to make an impression. A good Elevator Pitch is an essential first step in the creation of highly effective marketing communications programs and an even greater asset in this era of instant online communications methods.
The Elevator Pitch formula is a simple one:
For (target audience or customer)
Who (what they need or want)
Your company/product/service provides (key benefit, compelling reason to believe/invest/buy)
We’re thinking that maybe President Obama is familiar with the power of a good Elevator Pitch. Even if he’s not, we think he had the ultimate Elevator Pitch opportunity last week.
Photo: Pete Souza/ The White House
On Wednesday the White House issued this photo of the First Couple actually in an elevator on their way to an inaugural ball. Maybe, just maybe, he turned to the staff members and Secret Service agents (who were trying to appear disinterested in the moment that he was sharing with Michelle) and said “While I have you here, may I tell you my idea for a new world? For all human beings who want peace and prosperity, the Obama administration provides hope and solid foundation for success. Are you with me?”
You never know when a great opportunity to deliver your crisp message may arise. It pays to be prepared — even if you are the guy at the top, and especially if you’re a bit distracted by current events.