Monday, April 11, 2011

Fear of phoning, part 3: Phone tips for media relations types who hate to call

First, managers asked me for tips on fear of phoning reporters and others, a trend they were seeing among media relations staffers reluctant to pick up the phone. (I've observed this, myself, for many years.) Then, junior communicators responded with the phoners' side of the story, asking how to succeed in phoning when under pressure from an anxious boss.

Now, in Mastering the lost art of actually talking on the phone, we have a post that helps your reluctant phoners figure out, step-by-step, what they need to know to make a call successful, written by a fellow reluctant phoner. Pass this one around the office, and post it in a pull-out drawer near your phone.

Managers will want to go further to be sure this isn't just about logistics and etiquette, however. Showing your media relations team how to tip reporters more and pitch less may make them more effective on the phone and otherwise. You also may want to share these 6 ways to change your timing when pitching reporters.  And one call they can get rid of, according to reporters? That "did you get my materials" follow up call, beloved by no one. Finally, know your reporters. Many prefer a well-crafted pitch by email. If so, take that route.

Got more tips for placing calls for communicators? Don't phone them in; leave them in the comments. One of my training workshops for communications teams is pitching practice, which helps make sure your entire team is approaching this work consistently and effectively. To find out more, email me at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz.

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