Community Branding Blog

Conquering a Pitch, One Curveball at a Time.

Delivering a pitch is crucial to begin implementing ideas and strategies, no matter the venture. It is your goal to leave stakeholders truly feeling confident in your work. Conquering a pitch does not only revolve around the pitch itself but being prepared for any obstacle, too. Throughout my four years at West Virginia University, I've learned important tips and tricks to conquer a pitch, and now I'm here to share them with you!

1. Practice, Practice, Practice!
When preparing for an important pitch to a client, it is important to practice your wording. This is not only to prepare for stumbling words, but also to eliminate the chances of stage fright in front of your audience. Practicing your pitch in front of others can also be beneficial. As they say, practice makes perfect.

2. Proofread
While having your pitch memorized to a T is important, having a steel-proof presentation is as well. As you are speaking to your audience, they may be reading your presentation slides. Grammatical mistakes are a no-go and an unnecessary error. Taking the extra time to proof read your presentation can make or break your pitch.

Click this link for more information and tips on proofreading.

3. Technological Care
Even in a technological world, technology does not always work to your advantage. When traveling to a destination, be sure to bring chargers and even a back up computer. Be prepared for any obstacle; even the possibility of having to present without any technological assistance. Being overly conscious will never be a bad thing!

4. Professionalism
During your presentation it is important to conduct yourself with poise. Make sure there is evident eye contact, and be sure to engage with your audience. Due to the fact that you have practiced your pitch, there is not a need for note cards. This will also help promote your confidence and allow the audience to truly engage with what you are saying.

5. Confidence
A pretty presentation easily grabs the attention of your audience, but it is likely the words and facts that will stay in their mind. Confidence in yourself is the key aspect to conquering your pitch. Showcasing your confidence will showcase a credible presentation, and in turn, your audience will showcase their confidence in you!

Click this linRF Branding Groupk for more information and tips for the perfect brand pitch.
My name is Chastity Orellana, and I am a senior at West Virginia University. I am currently a strategic communications major with an emphasis in advertising and a minor in media entrepreneurship. While being a reality show junkie, some may say I am also pop-culture obsessed. Currently, I am serving as the Media Relations Director for the RF Branding Group. My role is to maintain relationships with any/all media outlets as well as serve as the main source of communication for our agency throughout the community branding initiative. Follow my adventure with Grafton on Twitter: @chas_antoinette #BrandGrafton.

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When All the Odds are Against You

My immediate concern was the economic instability of the town, including the lack of businesses in the town and the surrounding areas. The local economy is dismal and the socioeconomic status of the town’s residents is equally low. Many people who live in Whitesville and in the neighboring towns worked in coal mines for most of their lives. Recently though, most of the coalmines have been shut down, leaving several residents unemployed and unable to find a suitable job. Not only does this put financial stress on those who were laid off, but, it also affects the overall mood of the town. 

My second worry was the absence of a school district in the town. Although Whitesville does have an elementary school, the town does not have a middle school or high school. This is something that is crucial to town pride and morale in most small communities. After contemplating all these factors, I just thought all the odds are against me and my team… so how are we going to make it work? 

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Off to the Mines We Go!

En Route

Recently, the RF Branding Group received an opportunity of a lifetime to go to the Leer Mining Complex and learn what coal mining is all about.  We were able to experience firsthand the ins and outs of the profession and what it takes to work in the industry. I can honestly say that my classmates and I all have a new appreciation for what these workers do.

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Seeing is Believing

Pictures don’t communicate community pride

When branding a town, it is essential to visit the town before beginning your campaign. While conducting extensive secondary and primary research can help increase your knowledge about a location, it is nearly impossible to carry out an effective campaign without first seeing the town with your own two eyes. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but there is a lot a picture can’t convey. Whitesville, W. Va. is currently considered a small and rural coal-mining town in the southern part of the state with a population of 543 people. This town has struggled with a decline in mining jobs after a horrific coal-mining explosion in 2010.

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"Procrastination is the Thief of Time"

As I wait until the last minute to complete my assignment (as usual), I realize how important time management skills actually are. I can think of one hundred other things I would prefer to be doing other than my homework. I could be online shopping, watching Netflix or hanging out with friends. While all of these options are very tempting, I know I should really finish my assignments well in advance, so I can have my free time later.

Procrastination is a real issue of mine, but I am in the process of overcoming this bad habit. If you don’t know, procrastination is described as delaying and postponing something, such as homework or studying. 

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Riding for a Reason: Route 3 Restoration Run

What are some of the BEST things about riding motorcycles? Maybe the best part is feeling the wind in your hair or catching glimpses of the mountainous countryside. Perhaps its just enjoying that short period of time where you watch the pavement disappearing behind you and don’t have a care in the world, other than reaching your destination. Maybe, the best part of motorcycling is hearing the engine purr as you accelerate on a long country road.

While all of those reasons are thrilling, growing up around motorcycles and riding was about something completely different where I’m from.

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"Be A Draper"

The pressure was on. We weren’t just pitching a fictional idea; this one had real potential to be executed in the town.  Our idea could be their future, as easily as it could have been our failure.  These people did not just invite us into their town, but they invited us into their lives, which was not to be taken lightly. 

As I began meeting with my group, we started evaluating everything we wanted to present. Did we have the facts straight? Was our PowerPoint convincing? Did everyone know what to say? We separated our plan into parts and were all tasked with mastering one segment for our presentation.

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7 Steps to Building a Website for Dummies

Have you ever designed a website before? Did you just shake your head no? Don’t worry, neither have I, so we already have something in common. However, I was allocated the job of facilitating the update to the city of Grafton, West Virginia’s website (spoiler alert: the new site will go live May 1!). Needless to say I had no idea what I was doing at first. So if you’re a newbie to website creating, here are my key steps to making sure that you’re on the right page.

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5 Characteristics to Being a Successful Leader

I was able to learn a lot about myself this semester after being selected to be account executive to lead a team of seven passionate seniors to create a rebranding campaign for Whitesville, a small, rural southern West Virginia town. I learned about many qualities that make a great leader after reading articles from Forbes and INC and chose five qualities that I have had to learn for myself over the course of the semester. 


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