The Elevator Pitch - Can you tell your story in 60 seconds?


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Andy Warhol said you'd get 15 minutes. Today everyone's famous. How do you get your needle to stand out in the haystack of the Internet? I help you tell your story. A presentiion on corporate storytelling by PR and social media consultant Giselle Bisson, Visibility Shift Communications

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The Elevator Pitch - Can you tell your story in 60 seconds?

  1. 1. WHAT I DO Giselle Bisson Communication With Imagination Is your company getting the attention it deserves? Andy Warhol said you’d get fifteen minutes of fame. But today you need to tell your story in sixty seconds -- or less. What would you say to a leading venture capitalist if you ran into him on 30-second elevator ride? How would you describe your product to a potential customer if you only had 3 minutes to grab her attention on an airline flight? How will you explain your product to a reporter from CNN in a 30-second on-camera interview? (If you’re lucky. It’s probably only a ten-second sound bite.) Every company has a story that is worth writing about. Let me help you discover the words that will make the press and your customers take notice. I can help you get you the attention you deserve.2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 1
  2. 2. HOW I DO IT How? Good old-fashioned classic publicity. It may seem old fashioned in this day and age of warp-speed wireless communication, but I call myself a publicist. Because that’s what it’s really all about. Publicity. Headlines. Daily news. Sound Bites. Coverage. Column Inches. Why on earth are you paying tens of thousands of dollars every month for marketing buzzwords, Powerpoint and promises? You want press clippings, right? Lots of them. In quality publications, radio and television shows (and websites) that reach the customers who buy your product, the investors who buy your stock, and the VCs who could back your company. This credibility can’t be bought with advertising (at any price) and the story these articles tell can’t be communicated with a two-word slogan or a logo. I’ve placed even the most technically arcane products into the most exciting media – from the local newspaper to plums like Newsweek, Time, Parade, Fortune, Live With Regis & Kathie Lee, Good Morning America, VH-1, MTV, CNN and PBS. And I’m not afraid to show you proof.2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 2
  3. 3. POSITIONING It all starts with a story… As a former journalist, I understand that the only thing that matters is the story. Yet it’s astonishing how many PR people completely neglect the basic fact that the job of the press is to tell an interesting and entertaining story. A story is not a slogan. It is not a “solution.” It is more about your future than your present. Your story will capture and hold a leadership position in the minds of your customers and competitors. This story is your most important marketing message and branding tool. But if you can’t tell your story in 60 seconds, how do you expect CNN to tell it in 30 seconds, or Business Week in a mere paragraph?2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 3
  4. 4. STRATEGY A story that is delivered strategically. Wrapped around this story is a strategy that is intertwined with your business objectives. The right time. After researching the market, your competition and your business goals, we take into consideration the noise of competitor announcements, world news events and holidays, your product production schedule. Then we carefully plan and time your company’s announcements for maximum news impact. (Or to completely throw your competitors for a loop.) The right place. If you tell the story in the right place (such as a great speech at an important conference) you won’t need to call the press or potential strategic partners, investors and customers. They’ll call you.2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 4
  5. 5. RELATIONSHIPS A story that establishes relationships. Once we find your story, and we decide when to tell it, we begin establishing relationships with the influencers who can spread the word. I don’t believe in “spamming” or “pushing” your message to the press. The goal is to generate “pull” – so that press (and customers) actively seek out and call you. This means you need to reach all levels of media – including the neglected “second tier” media (vertical magazines, suburban newspapers, news groups, users groups, clubs, professional organizations, newsletters) that the “top tier” reporters (at Newsweek or The New York Times, for example) read when they are looking for trends and story ideas. It’s my “trickle up” theory of publicity. And it really works because that’s how top reporters research their stories and get ideas. We also contact the analysts, pundits and influencers that the media call when they’re looking for an interesting quote or statistic to back up their story. Ultimately all of these influencers talk to each other and generate buzz.2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 5
  6. 6. RESULTS A story that generates results HEWLETT PACKARD COMPANY / HP 95LX PALMTOP PC HP was introducing the first hand held PC with wireless capability from Motorola, but the press were having a hard time imagining what “wireless” communication was. (This was back in 1990, and wireless computing was truly ahead of its time – a completely new technology with no existing metaphor.) THE STORY: I positioned it as “Dick Tracy’s Two-Way Wrist Computer.” HP’s engineers were horrified by my oversimplification, but it captured the imagination of the visually-oriented TV press. RESULT: The product introduction was the lead science story on NBC Nightly News. CYBERMEDIA, INC. (NASDAQ:CYBR - ACQUIRED BY NETWORK ASSOCIATES) The CEO lugged a 50-pound box of articles on a luggage cart all over the world during the company’s IPO road how. (He’s a strong man, but we really did get that much press coverage.) Of course investors noticed how much attention the company was getting. It was right there in that big box. RESULT: The IPO was oversold and went out above the original price. It was named “IPO” of the year by Red Herring magazine. The press coverage included a double page story with color photo of the management team in Forbes magazine. Today, he probably lugs his wallet around on that cart too.2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 6
  7. 7. RADIUS, INC. / VIDEO VISION STUDIO Radius, best known at the time for computer monitors, was introducing a new technology – Video Vision, the first personal computer-based video editing system. At the time, video editing systems cost more than $50,000, yet Video Vision cost about $2,000 – so the press were skeptical. THE STORY: I positioned it for the future in a keynote speech for the CEO that predicted Video Vision would be a technology that would one day make it possible for anyone to self-publish a movie, just as the Laserwriter printer brought the power of a printing press to the masses. RESULTS: The press immediately embraced Video Vision as the industry standard. Today, independent filmmaking has revolutionized Hollywood and video editing is literally child’s play. DUNLAP & COMPANY ADVERTISING / ROYAL ROBBINS OUTDOORSWEAR CAMPAIGN The original VP Marketing at Victoria’s Secret started her own ad agency. She asked me to give her “only” four stories in the publications that her clients read. THE STORY: We highlighted her ad campaign for Royal Robbins Outdoorswear – which uniquely featured nature photography by a famous photographer David Muench – something that had never appeared in a fashion campaign before. RESULTS: We got articles in all four within one month -- including Ad Week, Communication Arts and Ad Age. It was a surgically targeted hit that dramatically changed the image of her business from a small shop to a major player.2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 7
  8. 8. WHO I AM: About Giselle Bisson: Giselle Bisson is a veteran corporate communications professional with experience on both sides of the fence -- both as a reporter and as a publicist. Her years both inside and outside the business lend a unique perspective that will give you an edge. She launched more than three-dozen products, both as an executive inside Internet and software companies and for PR agencies including... Blue chip publicly-traded technology companies like Hewlett Packard, Xerox, ASK/Ingres (now Computer Associates), Citrix, FileNet, Cirrus Logic, Phoenix Technologies, ERG Group, Claris, and Sun Microsystems (TOPS Division) Innovative technology startups like Enfish Technology, CyberMedia (acquired by Network Associates and now known as, ClearSpeed, Postini, NeXT, Media Vision, Frame (acquired by Adobe), Radius, the ALICE artificial intelligence project and Everypath. Consumer products such as FriendFinder online dating, Royal Robbins Outdoorswear, Eden Interactive, Brilliant Photo, Admiral Envelope and Fuel Sell Technologies. Leading PR agencies including Copithorne & Bellows (acquired by Porter- Novelli), Ketchum Communications, Upstart (Fleishman-Hillard). Her articles have been published in many magazines, including Upside, InfoWorld, MacWeek, Microtimes, San Jose Mercury News, San Jose Metro, Sunset, City Sports, Whole Life Times, Pacific Sun, San Francisco and SF Weekly. Her ghostwritten articles for CEOs have been published in magazines like Computer Resellers News, eWeek, B to B and ComputerWorld. As a spokesperson and technical marketing expert, Giselle has been quoted in Salon, the Red Herring, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Time2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 8
  9. 9. WHAT I DO: How can I help you get noticed? Whether you’re a startup looking for help crafting your message and launch strategy from the ground up, or an established leader looking for writer to craft a speech or a document that can reposition your business to meet the challenges of new market conditions, I can help with: BUSINESS STRATEGY Messaging, positioning and strategic launch plans. Rewriting, editing and refining business plans Simplifying or repositioning existing messages to appeal to the financial, investment and business press. SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS/PRESENTATIONS Speechwriting and dynamic presentations (Powerpoint, Macromedia Director and video speaker support through our alliance with Worldmind Media.) CEO media training and presentation coaching. Speaking engagement programs (placing your executives on panels and before influential trade organizations.) WRITING Speeches, presentations, backgrounders, white papers, product review guides, product demonstration scripts and press kits. Ghostwriting opinionated and outspoken "bylined" opinion articles “by” your executives -- and placing those stories in key media BUSINESS & BROADCAST PRESS RELATIONS Video news releases, public service announcements and radio and television press programs. High-level business/financial press programs.2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 9
  10. 10. KUDOS Rave reviews:“Giselle is a consummate professional.” - reporter Rich Santalesa (quoted in The New York Times, April 10, 2000) “Giselle helped us position as the world’s premiere manufacturer of high-end customenvelopes with our first website – an incredibly daunting task that involved catalogingthousands of products. We’re not just a New York company anymore -- we’re international.It totally saved us from the business downturn after 9-11.” – Abbott Seligman, CEO, Admiral Envelope“Giselle helped me appear on more than 100 television and radio shows. Not only was itgreat PR for the company, it launched an incredible new career for me. I’m now aprofessional company spokesperson.” – David Perry, Director of Global Education for Trend Micro. “Giselle is one of the few PR people I’ve ever worked with who can actually pitch me aninteresting story angle that I’ll consider writing.” – Julie Pitta, Former Sr. Writer, ForbesGiselle gave us an early boost that completely differentiated our company, helped us attractinvestors and established us as an industry leader in the very competitive wireless category.” – Piyush Goel, founder, Everypath2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 10
  11. 11. CONTACT Contact: Giselle Bisson San Francisco – Silicon Valley P: 415/384-0995 gisellebisson@sbcglobal.net2/21/2005 - Giselle Bisson Communications - Page 11