Kat McGettigan, Founder, Fine Lines

Kat McGettigan set up Fine Lines in 2021 to help agencies accelerate and improve their track record on new business and growth. Dubbed ‘the agency-growth-agency’, Fine Lines helps agencies grow faster and further by focussing in on their proposition in the market; how to pitch successfully, and how to identify and convert more clients. Since its launch, Fine Lines has worked with a wide range of agencies including Aduro, Kindred, Manifest, lynn, and Lexington. Prior to Fine Lines, Kat spent 18 years working for some of the most award-winning agencies in London, Hong Kong, New York, and Manchester. This includes Weber Shandwick working predominately on London 2012 sponsorship and joining M&C Saatchi PR in 2013 as the first UK Head of Consumer. In 2018, Kat joined Grayling as UK Head of Consumer, leading major pitch wins from Visa to the Stars Group and leading the Huawei global PR & social account from Hong Kong. Kat’s final role at Grayling was as Global Head of Growth, working with teams across the globe to ensure best-in-class new business and growth strategies. 


As a global growth specialist, I often surprise C-Suite business leaders and learners when they ask how to boost their pipeline, and I tell them to pitch less. This advice may seem paradoxical, especially as H2 is fast approaching and with targets looming, to say ‘take your foot off the gas.’ However, what I mean is that if you’re going for something, go hard or go home. It’s not about burning the midnight oil and burning out your team. It’s about making smart decisions about what you do and don’t pitch for, particularly during the summer campaign season when teams are under multiple pressures.

As a communications specialist, many of us are self-confessed people-pleasers (guilty as charged!). This can be a brilliant trait as we adapt quickly to build relationships across varied sectors. However, it can also be our downfall, leading us to say yes too quickly and easily, especially when it comes to pitches. We end up with too much on our plates and not enough commitment to the pitches that could be really game-changers for our organisations.

So, what’s the solution? Sadly, there’s no silver bullet … and if there was, I’d be sunning myself in the Bahamas for an early retirement! However, as much as the pitch process isn’t perfect and the best ways of working with prospective clients continue to be debated, we as business leaders can adopt certain techniques to win more by pitching less.

At Fine Lines, we have developed the Pitch for Success 4 Cs model: Chemistry, Conviction, Clarity, and Commitment. This model provides a process to win more, more smartly. Incorporating these four elements into pitch development means you have a team filled with confidence and passion. Win or lose, you walk away knowing you are truly committed. It’s also a simple checklist any pitch leader, at whatever level, can easily apply.

The biggest pitfall in the 4 Cs often comes around Commitment. Too many pitches happening at once, a lack of ownership of who’s running the pitch process, half-baked ideas that the team doesn’t believe in, and running out of time to really interrogate and edit the ideas. Time is often the biggest enemy, so it’s critical to learn to say no if you really can’t commit.

Here are five simple ideas to strengthen the new business process:

  1. Qualify, qualify, qualify – It might be a shiny new opportunity, but is it right for you right now? Do you know a key stakeholder? Does the budget stack up?
  2. Assess what else is going on – How many pitches and big campaigns do you have on? Can you do this justice? Is the timeline realistic for delivery?
  3. Who’s leading it? – Don’t baton-pass. You always need a couple of people consistently on the response within the same timeframe.
  4. Get a Pitch Doctor – Another senior independent voice in your organization (or external) who can objectively critique your response.
  5. Rehearse – Remember the deck is your backing singer. The chemistry you build with the client and the conviction you sell your campaigns with are the real lead performers in the room.

So, pitching less but committing more when you do is a major step to successfully converting more wins. By winning more, you not only hit targets but also strengthen your team’s belief and confidence to win. For me, that’s a win for everyone.

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