Aurora Media Ltd.
How using the “secret strategies” of Cath’s approach enabled a media company to win a significant and prestigious contract against stiff competition
Aurora Media’s Directors, Jon Egan and Mo Maghazachi, regularly pitch for business and have been successful in gaining contracts over a wide range of businesses and values. However, they were acutely aware that in today’s market, merely achieving the industry average success rate was just not good enough.
Jon says “Our main goals were to find a way of bringing in more business and improve our track record with respect to winning pitches, to be more confident and to go in with a greater degree of fluency, being able to engage more effectively and directly with those we were pitching to.”
Mo continues “ Since working with Cath our results have increased dramatically and this has provided us with a platform to show case our skills and abilities to other major stakeholders in the city” and Jon agrees “The biggest impact has been that we’ve been winning pitches we didn’t expect to win and we now approach planning for our pitches quite differently. What did surprise us is how easily we were able to put the key things into effect and how we were immediately able to benefit from it”.
Their recent challenge was the development of a promotional place branding campaign for a large inward investment group in the North West, worth, to Aurora, a significant five figure sum.
Jon says “ If I’m honest, I didn’t think we stood much of a chance of winning, given the size of some of the companies we were competing against. They have much bigger resources than we do and it was a very difficult, challenging brief.”
A good campaign pitch, by itself, isn’t enough
However, they were confident that the content of their campaign was really good, but felt that they needed to go a step further in challenging themselves about how they should actually present it, and themselves, in a better light. It was clear to Jon that just having a good campaign pitch wasn’t, by itself, good enough.
Aurora has had prior experience of this before, presenting excellent PR programmes that didn’t win, against what from Jon and Mo’s assessment, were inferior products. The key therefore must be in how they presented the programme to the evaluation panel and perhaps, even more importantly, how they presented themselves so that they gained sufficient levels of positive rapport to convince the panel that Aurora were the people to work with.
Aurora had previously engaged Cath to work with all of their employees to look at improving their communication. For this new pitch, Cath worked specifically with just Jon and Mo and concentrated on the elements of the pitch that would enhance and enrich the content. Jon himself professes that he was to a certain extent a sceptic about whether this approach would be as beneficial as he hoped but conversations with Cath convinced of the benefits.
“The dark arts and secret strategies of Cath’s approach quantitatively changes the way you communicate with someone and it changes the dynamic of the presentation. All of a sudden you are really communicating rather than presenting and there is an element of authenticity and directness that was not there previously. We are much more aware of the interaction and because it’s like having a conversation we feel really relaxed, lucid and unstressed“ says Jon.
A 30% increase in business
Jon and Mo were delighted that the gains were immediate – a greater confidence, a wider skills base, a focus on the essentials and a stripping out of the unnecessary. The pitch to the inward investment group was successful, and the interviewing panel later expressed their view that it was by far and away the best they’d seen with one of the panel saying in the feedback session that “We were blown away !!”.
Aurora had beaten competitors with bigger budgets, teams and reputations and this contract represents something of a tipping point. Jon estimates that the result of working with Cath is at least a 30% increase in business.
The skills gained are transferable too, in that Jon and Mo are now more confident, relaxed and less stressed; this translates into better and more thoughtful presentations and helps develop much more effective relationships with potential clients.
For Mo “the personal benefit of working with Cath has been being able to understand how our body language impacts on how we present… we’re calm confident, assured and collected. We’re not thinking about how nervous we are, how we look, how we feel but we’ve been able to articulate the key messages that our clients need.”
It’s enabled Aurora to produce a more robust starting point for all pitches and from that a pitch methodology “a basic DNA”, which has been extremely successful. “Using the dark arts and secret strategies that Cath teaches we’ve suddenly acquired a presence and tone of voice that is fresh and new and differentiates us from our competitors” says Jon.
Aurora continue to work with Cath and Jon has a really simple, direct message. “ For a relatively small outlay, you have potentially an enormous amount to gain and your dividends will come along extremely quickly”.
Moving forward, Jon and Mo now continually think through their pitches and indeed all their client communication interactions in a much more detailed and strategic way and Jon is clear about the value anyone will gain and the return on your investment from working with Cath.
“I strongly recommend all businesses to work with Cath, no matter how big or small.”
Mo agrees – “There is so much you can learn from her training techniques, whether you are using them in pitches, or internally to talk to staff or just for people who are nervous in terms of how to go about presenting. The techniques will certainly ensure you go out there and win more business.”