Set up criteria in order to avoid pitch fiascos

The first phase of the National Centre for Popular Music (DW 26 April) raises a few questions. A total of 26 companies pitching is hardly a “shortlist”.

The first phase of the National Centre for Popular Music (DW 26 April) raises a few questions.

A total of 26 companies pitching is hardly a “shortlist”. And when is a pitch a creative pitch?

Tim Strickland, the centre’s development director, explained that he wasn’t looking for creative work, but rather how groups would manage the project. Richard Fowler, pitching for the business, was quoted as saying “It’s a design management role”.

Had Shelton Fleming pitched we would have spent a great deal of time working on proposals. Can this happen without ideas? Does creativity only start when we get the felt pens out? And if it’s not a credentials presentation then it’s a creative pitch, with or without pictures.

Who pays for this? Assuming that the 22 companies still in the pitch spend around 5000 worth of consultancy time preparing for this pitch, that’s 110 000 spent by the industry on a project worth a stated 50 000.

At Shelton Fleming we have two criteria to judge whether or not to take part in a creative pitch:

There must be no more that four competing companies; the project must have a total budget of at least 100 000.

Although we would have been happy to make a credentials presentation, the National Centre for Popular Music’s pitch criteria didn’t match ours so we withdrew.

We suggest other groups devise similar guidelines for themselves. In the long term, this will save us and our clients a lot of wasted effort.

Shelton Fleming

Managing director

Maurice Fleming

London SW0

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