As a recent college grad who majored in Sociology, I find myself subconsciously thinking about human interaction and methods of communication. When I first started in PR about seven months ago, I didn’t understand the specifics of client or media interaction. I was well-versed in theories, but not real-life application. The question became: How can I sound professional and approachable? I learned by watching and listening to my fellow team members on how they spoke over the phone, how they crafted their emails and how they dealt with both the clients and the media in a professional manner. Here are some things I learned:
- Be straightforward. If you need your client to respond to a media inquiry in a timely manner, make it clear. You don’t want to have to take time out of your day or theirs to bombard them with follow-up emails and phone calls.
- Be excited. You’re representing a brand that expects you to love their product/franchise as much as they do. It’s important to share that excitement with media in a clear and concise manner. Don’t be afraid to add exclamation points when emailing or putting a smile on your face when phone pitching.
- Be informed. You never know when you’ll get a call from either a client or media. Know everything about the product/franchise you are pitching about, their company history and their product/development plans because you don’t want to be stuttering over your words trying to find an answer.
Different writers, reporters and producers respond to different kinds of pitches. It’s important to know who you’re dealing with and what type of stories they cover. A little bit of research goes a long way. Your client will thank you for that.