By Jeff Cheatham, Senior Account Manager at TrizCom PR
Speed counts. What we’re talking about here is a manner and method to working in the public relations world. We already know that we live in a 24/7 news cycle, and if you aren’t adjusting the method of how you work, you could be missing out on a very successful strategy. Call it an opinion if you want, but earning a reputation based on your effort to respond quicker makes you a better PR practitioner.
The clients I represent already know this. That’s because I pride myself on how quickly I can get them an answer when they ask a question. All of the media contacts and journalists I work with know this too. Even if they ask a question or request information that I can’t get back to them in five minutes, they’ll still get a reply from me letting them know that I’m on the case. Missed a phone call? Dial them back as soon as possible. And if you’re not getting your work emails on your smart phone, get smarter. Makes it very easy to type out a quick confirmation of receipt every time.
Over time, the contacts on the other end of your computer screen will notice this effort. Then they’ll come to expect it. And that’s a good thing. When it comes time for your client to renew an annual agency of record contract with your firm, might this be a point in your favor? When a reporter you’ve worked with in the past needs a source or some fresh quotes for a new story, will your previous responsiveness play a part in their decision to reach out to you at the expense of someone else? You don’t have to answer either of these rhetorical questions because you already know the answer.
While you can create an incredible reputation from being a responsive account manager, you can also destroy that perception by being careless. You can be quick, but always be thorough. Re-read your emails before you send them. Use spellchecker. At the end of the day, working on your responsiveness in the public relations world is just like any other skill. It can be acquired if you put in the effort.
Still don’t believe me? I wrote this blog in 22 minutes.