The PR Telephone is Dead: Why Emailing Beats Calling in PR

Oct 17, 2014

On Wednesday, I talked about the importance of new technology and PR (if you missed it, catch up here.). Today, I’m talking about news that may startle…even frighten you. The PR telephone is dead. So put down your receiver; pull up a chair. Here’s why emailing beats calling in PR in almost every situation. 

Why Emailing Beats Calling in PR

Photo Credit: rmtx via Compfight cc

Why Emailing Beats Calling in PR

I know that not everyone agrees with me on this, but I really, truly think that the telephone is dead. I’m talking in generalities here. Generally, a well-written email will work much better than a phone call any day of the week. Why is this? For three reasons:

  1. There’s too many people who call pointlessly. And it ruined telephoning for the rest of us. The media doesn’t want to waste their time, and answering the phone is too likely to be a waste of time.
  2. Because of point #1, many of your reporters and journalists have put gatekeepers in place over their phone. If you call, you won’t even be able to get through, since so-and-so has told the front desk not to forward any calls.
  3. With email, your media contacts can respond at a time that works best for their schedule, which puts them in a better mood and more likely to read your pitch with a sunny disposition. And that’s what we want, right?

But, what if they’re not responding to my emails? Well, that’s because you either have nothing that they’re interested in, or you’re pitching the wrong person. I’m telling you, spend time really researching who the best person to pitch is, and then develop a great email for them.

Why Emailing Beats Calling in PR

Photo Credit: cod_gabriel via Compfight cc

Now, I do have some caveats, because, like anything in PR, there’s no hard and fast rule. If it works for you, keep doing it. Here’s some situations when a phone call will probably be a better option than emailing:

  1. You have a relationship with the contact already.
  2. You already know that they prefer phone calls.
  3. You have no email address, and a phone call is better than nothing.
  4. You’re willing to put in a last-ditch effort. Because, you never know.

I’ve had much, much better experience getting in contact with media contacts when I approach via email. And the more I thought about it, it made sense to me, since I wouldn’t want to receive calls all day, interrupting the work I need to get done. Are there contacts out there who would have a different preference? Most definitely. It’s your job to figure out which method they prefer. All I’m saying is…send an email first.

Once you find yourself scoring major PR wins, you’ll need a way to keep track of the work you’ve done for your company. Check out this free media tracker. It’s what we use daily!