When it comes to landing new clients, it’s all about networking in the campaign world. In a cycle with competitive races up and down the ballot and a political market flooded with Super PAC dollars, there’s plenty of business to be had.
At C&E’s Art of Political Campaigning seminar, we asked Democratic consultant Michael Bronstein for some tips on honing the pitch.
C&E: What makes a good pitch?
Bronstein: First, you need some type of service that you’re providing to the client where they see an immediate need. Whether it be media, whether it be mail, whether it be polling –– things that are immediately identifiable. You should play to your strength in the pitch. The more problems that your prospective client sees you being able to solve with your firm, and the more differentiation you’re able to make during the pitch, the more likely you are to actually succeed in signing a client.
C&E: In terms of networking, what’s the best way to stand out?
Bronstein: It’s important to remember that not everyone you meet will have an immediate need for your service, and not everybody that wants to meet you is necessarily is going to be a service that you want to use for a campaign. But it’s still extremely important to develop the relationship. In networking, you shouldn’t necessarily be thinking about what you can do for somebody else, you’ll actually be more successful if you try to figure out what you can do for somebody else. If they have a problem that you can help them solve, they will be much more likely to help you out down the line.
C&E: Are there new avenues for business this cycle that you haven’t seen in the past?
Bronstein: There are certainly new avenues this cycle. The general mix, though, is essentially the same as the strategists who sit around the table. If you’re offering media, mail, polling, finance, opposition research—things of this nature, the traditional media sources are all around the table this cycle. But there has been a growth in the Internet space and that non-traditional media is definitely going to continue to grow over time and over the next couple of cycles. It means more opportunity for people who have expertise outside the traditional areas that campaigns look for.