Ah, the elevator pitch. That short, concise explanation of an idea or product that can be completely communicated during an elevator ride. It may be going the way of the dodo, at least as in the form as we know it.1
There are differing accounts as to the origin of the elevator pitch. One credits a senior editor at Vanity Fair who, back in the 1990s, would join his always on the move editor-in-chief during her elevator rides to pitch her story ideas. Another possible beginning is attributed to businessman and author Philip Crosby, who suggested that people have a speech prepared that delivers information about themselves or a quality they can provide in a limited of time, namely an elevator ride.2
Regardless of who ultimately may one day get credit It’s an effective tool. Why? Because it forces the one making the pitch to distill their message down to the essentials: What the thing is, why it’s needed, and how it’s gonna get done. That’s it. Short and sweet.
An in the years since they’ve been in use, lots of big ideas and major ideas have owe their beginnings in some elevator that’s probably empty right now. Empty because of, you guessed it – COVID-19.
Now this time of masks, social distancing and a general aversion to touching things like the button that calls the elevator, what is to because of the ever-useful elevator pitch?
Think of the challenges here:
- You’re got to be at least six feet apart (In an elevator!? – good luck with that!).
- You must be wearing a mask (Sorry, can’t hear you…).
- And nobody really wants to be in a tiny room with other people right now (Can’t blame ‘em).
Well, thank goodness for human ingenuity because, much like the elevator pitch itself was a solution to getting ideas green-lit, or at least taken seriously, here come the ideas to solve for the pitch! Pitches – yes – pitches – to save the ones that were only just recently were still being made in elevators far and wide. After all, communication still needs to happen. People haven’t stopped dreaming up ideas for new products and services and more – so how are we going to get them to the people who need to hear them?
So, if the elevator pitch itself is out – what’s going to replace it in the age of COVID-19?
Let’s get creative, even fun then, shall we? How about these scenarios:
Okay, you got them in the elevator…
Well, even if you’re lucky enough to have your audience in an elevator, talking is OUT. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be heard. Think about it – you already have the pitch prepared, even memorized. Record it on your phone (which you have on you at all times most likely) and keep your message to about 30 seconds. Once those doors close and it’s just you and them – press play. And why stop with just your voice? If appropriate Add music or other effects to make your idea even more DISRUPTIVE! Of course, know your audience first.
Wait, can’t get into the elevator?
Social distancing means limiting the number of people allowed on elevators at any one time. Maybe your target audience is getting in, but you’re not. So why pass up the opportunity to pitch your idea while they wait all the while social distancing. It’s an opportunity for you, that you’re showing your audience respect for their safety – you may even inspire others to this take up a new professional courtesy.
No elevator at all? No problem!
You’ve got only so many characters for a single Twitter post and you make that platform work for you. Make the mask everyone is already seeing your personal message center. In just a few words – put that most salient message literally your face – so that’s it in theirs – your audience. What an ice breaker it can make for! But that means EVERY, SINGLE, WORD counts. What will stop your target in their tracks and have them wanting, no NEEDING, to know more.
Three ideas for you to consider for your next pitch. Three ways to keep on communicating.
The point here: Be Creative. Be Inventive. Never Stop Communicating. Even if none of these suggestions work for you, there’s still a bevy of ideas yet to be invented. You may be the one who comes up with NEXT BIG IDEA.
Got an idea that’s gonna rock your industry now, but there’s no “elevator” in sight?
No problem! Because JOTO PR Disruptors has a team of experts that’ll have plenty of ideas of their own to ensure your DISRUPTION finds the right audience and makes the biggest impact.
Just give us a call | 888-919-4034
Richtel, Matt, “Going Up? Not So Fast: Strict New Rules to Govern Elevator Culture”, NYTimes.com, www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/health/coronavirus-elevator-reopen.html, June 26, 2020
Elevator Pitch. Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator_pitch, last updated July 11, 2020