Media SharkTank 2016 – Top 3 Biggest Tips for Business Press Pitching

10Fold’s annual charitable event Media SharkTank garnered critical insights from top tier media and raised $15,000 in donations for the non-profit San Francisco Baykeeper

10Fold’s annual Media SharkTank event took place October 13, 2016 at Hotel Vitale in San Francisco. Now in its sixth year, Media SharkTank is an opportunity for high-tech companies to test their business pitch with high-profile print and online business journalists.

Critical insights were garnered from written feedback provided by two panels of six top-tier Bay Area reporters (12 total) serving as judges for the event. While feedback was tailored specifically to each participant, consistent themes emerged that could be universally applied to vendors seeking to hone their presentation skills and capture the attention of business media. These include:

Get to the Point: All too often, sources indulge in a slow lead-up to the crux of their story, likely believing that the build-up creates suspense and drama. But nobody likes guessing games — especially reporters with precious little time to spare. In actuality, reporters prefer to know what they are being offered up front — what the solution does and the problems it resolves — which helps with split second decisions in determining whether to write about a subject or not.

Make it Real, and Provide Examples: Including abstract concepts is fine — as long as they’re validated with actual examples that can be applied to people’s everyday lives. Pitching about technical subjects inevitably will require some kind of conceptualization, but at the end of the day, reporters want to know how the product, solution or problem applies to them — and their audiences. By the same token, steer clear of technical jargon. While these terms may be used liberally within an organization, it’s often like another language to your media audience, so best to eliminate. The presentations that began with real customer examples or stories of a use case were considered to be among the best.

Differentiate Yourself/ Establish Credibility: It’s no secret that reporters receive hundreds of pitches every day. Not surprisingly, only those that are the most outstanding will garner any media attention. So don’t be afraid to play up the drama and highlight the many ways in which your company stands out. What can you do that blows away the competition? That said, you’ll also need to be believable. Numerous organizations claim that they can successfully combat the latest cyber threats/resolve the greatest networking and enterprise challenges, but how do they execute on that claim? Leveraging some choice stats to back up your claims, showcasing high profile customers and illuminating successful outcomes go a long way in establishing the long-term credibility that you’ll need for continued media success.

Event Impression Video:
See the video for a quick impression and testimonials from last years participants…Here

The 2016 Judge Panelists:
See the confirmed panelist “Sharks” for Media SharkTank 2016…Here

About Media SharkTank:
CEOs or executive spokespersons will deliver a private, three-minute pitch to a panel of the nation’s sharpest broadcast and business press journalists, who will provide valuable, private, 1:1 feedback based on their honest and expert opinion. Get the inside scoop like never before and learn exactly what you need to do to make it in the headlines!

Participation allows company leaders to hone their elevator and business press pitches along with their presentation skills to be more successful in the future. Companies are not guaranteed media coverage as a result of participation, though if your pitch wows our panel of media Sharks you may catch a story as past participants have.

People’s Choice Award
At the end of the evening two pitch finalists, as determined by the media, will deliver their “1 minute elevator pitch” to the full reception audience. The audience will vote and determine which participant is going home with the MST2016 People’s Choice Award!


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