Why a ‘get-to-know-you’ phone call is lazy PR

Relationships with reporters are important, but clogging their telephone lines with pleasantries won’t earn you many friends. Here’s why your chatty call is a waste of time.

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Some PR pros just can’t cut the phone cord.

The request usually appears in an email, friendly enough in tone: A PR pro wants to “hop on a quick call” with a reporter to shoot the breeze. The PR pro might imagine a meeting of the minds, cordial and witty repartee, underscored by their coffeehouse Spotify playlist.

PR pros know that journalists are busy and receive hundreds of pitches a day. It only follows that to help his or her pitch stand out, a PR pro should befriend the journalist—and give it that personal touch.

However, if you’re pestering a journalist for a phone call without a specific, stated goal, you are wasting their time and yours.

Mixed advice

There’s no consensus about the usefulness of phone calls in PR. Though most PR pros agree that cold calling is a bad practice, not all are convinced that phone pitches are a waste of time.

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