PR people don’t use real phones…

I’ve been getting a LOT of calls lately from PR people.

The problem is I usually can’t answer my phone when you call. 425-205-1921. Why? I’m almost always meeting with someone, interviewing someone, or in a meeting at work, or sleeping, or doing something that I don’t want to be interrupted with.

Now, if you call my cell phone, it’ll leave me your phone number (don’t leave a message, I hate voice mail).

The problem is that most of the PR people who want to reach me are calling from their office phones. So, when I call back I get their switchboards. Really really lame cause I have no idea who called me.

But, this works to my friends’ advantage. I get back to them and the heck with the PR people (my message tells to send email).

Speaking of email, I just am loading back up Clear Context (which helps prioritize your emails and helps you dig out from email overload in other ways). That system rocks for prioritizing email (I met with them yesterday). Their system, though, really assumes you are a “piler” and have left all your email in your inbox (it works really great for someone like that). Me? I’m a “filer.” I put all email into folders as soon as it comes in. I need each one of those prioritizied.

If I was a PR person, I’d only call from a phone that’d bring them directly back to me. Why? Why have a relationship with a switchboard?

Comments

  1. Idea — change your Voice Mail message to direct them to send you a TwitterPitch with their direct dial #. You can quickly tell them if you’re interested. And, they’ll at least have to have tried the product :-)

  2. Idea — change your Voice Mail message to direct them to send you a TwitterPitch with their direct dial #. You can quickly tell them if you’re interested. And, they’ll at least have to have tried the product :-)

  3. Interesting about the PR people. I would have assumed they had real numbers – I would rather have the personal relationship too.

    Too bad you can’t have a personal Jott number that lets anyone email you a message…

  4. Interesting about the PR people. I would have assumed they had real numbers – I would rather have the personal relationship too.

    Too bad you can’t have a personal Jott number that lets anyone email you a message…

  5. Most PR people have cell phones on expense accounts. If they used them to ring cell-to-cell, they would avoid the voice mail disconnect. It seems so obvious yet so difficult for some to do.

  6. Most PR people have cell phones on expense accounts. If they used them to ring cell-to-cell, they would avoid the voice mail disconnect. It seems so obvious yet so difficult for some to do.

  7. Bernie: even better are the salespeople who have either 800 numbers listed or have blocked numbers. I don’t answer those.

    I also don’t accept calls from Skype members. Why? I can’t call them back either (and they have a high percentage of crank callers).

  8. Bernie: even better are the salespeople who have either 800 numbers listed or have blocked numbers. I don’t answer those.

    I also don’t accept calls from Skype members. Why? I can’t call them back either (and they have a high percentage of crank callers).

  9. Do you always call PR people back when they call you from a cellphone?

    I’m surprised your whole day isn’t spent on the phone to PR people trying to get you to publicize their stuff. I’d go with an email-only policy and cancel the cellphone.

  10. Do you always call PR people back when they call you from a cellphone?

    I’m surprised your whole day isn’t spent on the phone to PR people trying to get you to publicize their stuff. I’d go with an email-only policy and cancel the cellphone.

  11. My reply to phone calls:

    “Email me, I’ll get back to you if i’m interested”

    I’ve gotten to the point where the only calls I’m interested in are personal, because those are the ones I *want* to stop everything for. Some new product announcement? Um…no. Email me, then leave me alone. Insecure PR people suck.

  12. My reply to phone calls:

    “Email me, I’ll get back to you if i’m interested”

    I’ve gotten to the point where the only calls I’m interested in are personal, because those are the ones I *want* to stop everything for. Some new product announcement? Um…no. Email me, then leave me alone. Insecure PR people suck.

  13. Good feedback– was curious about direct Twitters, as people had been using them scantily. Then, is pitching you via public Twitter any different than doing it in comments?

    btw– I did try the direct Twitter request out on you– asking about intewrst in a “30 days of bloggers” guest blogging spot at Chitika. I asked the same question of John Edwards via direct Twitter, and he answered. so goes the Twitter experiment…

    Bottom line is, PRs need to keep track of how publishers want to be approached– you for one are pretty public about how you want to be contacted. Up to us to do homework and act intelligently.

  14. Good feedback– was curious about direct Twitters, as people had been using them scantily. Then, is pitching you via public Twitter any different than doing it in comments?

    btw– I did try the direct Twitter request out on you– asking about intewrst in a “30 days of bloggers” guest blogging spot at Chitika. I asked the same question of John Edwards via direct Twitter, and he answered. so goes the Twitter experiment…

    Bottom line is, PRs need to keep track of how publishers want to be approached– you for one are pretty public about how you want to be contacted. Up to us to do homework and act intelligently.

  15. Hey Scobleizer, I get a ton of calls and hate voice mails too. Right now, I’m trying out http://www.SpinVox.com

    You forward your cellphone’s voicemail to it vs. the company’s regular voicemal. When someone calls, it does a voice to text conversion…then SMS and/or emails you.

    It isn’t perfect, but I can get the gist of the message and know if the call is important or not…and can keep an eye on things even when I’m in a meeting.

  16. Hey Scobleizer, I get a ton of calls and hate voice mails too. Right now, I’m trying out http://www.SpinVox.com

    You forward your cellphone’s voicemail to it vs. the company’s regular voicemal. When someone calls, it does a voice to text conversion…then SMS and/or emails you.

    It isn’t perfect, but I can get the gist of the message and know if the call is important or not…and can keep an eye on things even when I’m in a meeting.

  17. Hello, I am a publicist and I suspect you’re talking about large firms that are corporate and have staffs. I’ve had the good fortune of never having to work at one of those and now have my own company. I don’t have tech clients, so I probably won’t be calling you, but if I did, I always leave my home office phone number, and on that voicemail is also the number to my cell phone if I’m not there. I also leave another message by email–”I left you a message today…” Sorry, that you take out the whole profession on a few people who seem to be not terribly professional.
    Best regards, Judy

  18. Hello, I am a publicist and I suspect you’re talking about large firms that are corporate and have staffs. I’ve had the good fortune of never having to work at one of those and now have my own company. I don’t have tech clients, so I probably won’t be calling you, but if I did, I always leave my home office phone number, and on that voicemail is also the number to my cell phone if I’m not there. I also leave another message by email–”I left you a message today…” Sorry, that you take out the whole profession on a few people who seem to be not terribly professional.
    Best regards, Judy

  19. Judy: there’s nothing worse than a defensive PR person who tries to defend her industry.

    If you’re good, you’re good. No need to defend the other ones.

    I won’t even start on the PR people who just send stuff without even reading my blog (it’s so obvious, it happens often too — I’ll never forget the PR types who called to pitch me while my mom was dying without realizing where I was).

    On the other hand, I appreciate a good PR person who consistently brings cool companies and interesting people into my life. There are a few and they don’t want to be associated with the bad ones either.

  20. Judy: there’s nothing worse than a defensive PR person who tries to defend her industry.

    If you’re good, you’re good. No need to defend the other ones.

    I won’t even start on the PR people who just send stuff without even reading my blog (it’s so obvious, it happens often too — I’ll never forget the PR types who called to pitch me while my mom was dying without realizing where I was).

    On the other hand, I appreciate a good PR person who consistently brings cool companies and interesting people into my life. There are a few and they don’t want to be associated with the bad ones either.

  21. Great Robert, thanks, I’ll use email. More media need to realize being open about how they like to be contacted will save them some headaches– and more PRs need to follow the damn directions and tell their clients to sit tight, we know what we’re doing.

    As for PRs being afraid of bloggers. Amazing, but true– why should we be any more intimidated than when pitching the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times (or remember the Industry Standard?). It boggles the mind.

  22. Great Robert, thanks, I’ll use email. More media need to realize being open about how they like to be contacted will save them some headaches– and more PRs need to follow the damn directions and tell their clients to sit tight, we know what we’re doing.

    As for PRs being afraid of bloggers. Amazing, but true– why should we be any more intimidated than when pitching the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times (or remember the Industry Standard?). It boggles the mind.

  23. Speaking as a blogger and an occasional PR person, I’m on both sides of this phenomenon. Personally, I hate it when PR people call me, and I generally don’t call bloggers with stories. I’d much rather get an email with a link.

    Speaking of which, Robert, I’ll have an interesting mail tool tool the lines of Clear Context to show you in the next month or two. It ought to suit you filer types.

    I recently read some research on email usage, and there are apparently three types: pilers, filers and spring cleaners (those who occasionally clean out their inboxes).

  24. Speaking as a blogger and an occasional PR person, I’m on both sides of this phenomenon. Personally, I hate it when PR people call me, and I generally don’t call bloggers with stories. I’d much rather get an email with a link.

    Speaking of which, Robert, I’ll have an interesting mail tool tool the lines of Clear Context to show you in the next month or two. It ought to suit you filer types.

    I recently read some research on email usage, and there are apparently three types: pilers, filers and spring cleaners (those who occasionally clean out their inboxes).