The Forgotten Power of the Phone Call

03.06.2013 | Renee Gastineau

We’ve all been there as PR professionals. You deliver a pitch to a reporter via email and then you…wait. And you wait a little more and then you send a follow up email. Still nothing. At this point, you realize you have to resort to a call down in hopes of capturing his or her attention, which is often dreaded by us PR professionals. Let’s be honest, none of us like to be greeted with gruff reporters who are on deadlines and don’t want to be bothered.

A similar sentiment can be said for communications to clients and colleagues. We often spend hours writing several emails back and forth when really, all that time could be replaced with a five-minute phone conversation. So why, in today’s day and age, are we so opposed to using a tool that once revolutionized the way we communicated?

A recent blog post from Harvard Business Review’s Dan Pallotta has an interesting take on picking up the phone. He says, “Just Call Someone Already.” Dan claims the telephone which was once an important and valuable domain of communication for exchanging ideas and information is now considered annoying. He claims that email exchanges allow us to avoid authentic communication and cause us to be less efficient and productive. Why spend time drafting emails, reviewing them to ensure they’re clear and that nothing can be taken amiss when we could just pick up the phone?

Dan notes that if you want to be innovative and take a risk, try calling someone with whom you have an issue to discuss, and if you want to be extra courageous, do it without sending emails to set up an appointment. Dan also says, when your phone rings, pick it up. I know I’ve been guilty of letting my phone calls go straight to voicemail, and rather than giving the caller a ring back, I sometimes address his or her needs via email.

However, when I do get up the willpower to pick up the phone, I find that it’s a much faster and personal way of resolving issues, making decisions, coming to agreements and even securing media interviews. Not only is it much more efficient, but I also feel a stronger connection to the person I’m speaking to than I would if I sent an email.

In today’s business world where we experience email overload on a daily basis, I know I would sure appreciate a phone call and the opportunity to replace some of my email interactions with human interactions.




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Filed under: Execution, EXPERTISE, INDUSTRY, PR trends

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