In our growing digital culture, people are increasingly turning towards email, text, Twitter, and Facebook as their first option for communication. While this isn’t necessarily new or a bad thing, I still believe that picking up the phone is the most effective way for Public Relations professionals to communicate. Whether pitching a story idea or securing a briefing, more times than not, I get a response when using the phone. Everyone knows that each phone conversation can’t be successful and result in media coverage, but by the end of it, I have feedback to share with clients and colleagues. Most forms of digital correspondence do not afford the nuances of a phone conversation like tonality or free-flowing conversation.
The trick? Be persistent and know when to call. For instance, when pitching broadcast, calling stations prior to 9am planning meetings has been effective. For journalists, calling between 10 am – 2pm seems to work best as they are often on deadline later in the day.
Now for the treat. Often times, I never know how the conversation will go with the person on the other end, but at least I get a response, something email, twitter and facebook may or may not provide instantly. Having all those unanswered emails, tweets, and posts floating in cyber space can be stressful and unproductive, but at least with a phone call I know where things stand and to me that is a BIG treat.