|Overcoming PR Millennials’ Fear of Calling Journalists—Like, On the Phone
By: Bulldog Reporter
After my first full year working in the PR industry, I have learned so much about myself and continue to grow every single day. However, there is one thing that I, and I know many of my fellow “Millennials” struggle with, and that is picking up the phone and making a call.
Now, I’m not too fond of all the stereotypes and beliefs surrounding Millennials, but I will absolutely support the fact that we much prefer convenient communication because it’s what we grew up on. So to me and my peers, sending a quick email is second nature to us and something we don’t think twice about doing (of course, after we do our due diligence to make sure we are emailing the most appropriate reporter). Without even realizing it, we are neglecting one of the best tools for our profession: the telephone.
The times that I have been able to get someone on the phone to discuss a story idea or even to just offer someone as a source, I’ve gotten immediate feedback instead of waiting on an email response I may never get. Having an actual conversation with someone, and having them hear your tone of voice and in return hearing theirs, makes for a productive conversation. It brings attention to a story idea they might not have thought of or even seen if their inbox is flooded daily, which is usually the case. As long as you’re not rude or demanding, and you understand that by calling them you may be interrupting their day, they’ll likely either give you a minute or two or tell you to email them. Something I always do, is introduce myself first and then ask if I’m catching them at a bad time or if they have a minute. The hardest part of it all really is just picking up the phone, and if you get them on the other line, you will 100% get something out of the conversation.
I write this piece from personal experience. I’ve defaulted to email so often that I’ve made it one of my new year’s resolutions to pick up the phone more because I know it gets more results than emailing once and sending a follow-up 48 hours later when you don’t hear back. However, it has been a bit of a challenge because as humans, we all experience a certain level of discomfort/apprehension when we start doing something we’re not all that familiar with. I understand how nerve wracking it can be to pick up the phone the first couple times. There’s all these thoughts going through your head: what if I stumble over my words? What if the person on the other end says no? What if they yell at me?
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