This post is an excerpt from the PR Account Manager's Handbook. Click here to download the entire series as an ebook. By @TopLineFounder.
You might be surprised to hear that when I was a kid I had buckteeth. In fact, they pretty much stuck horizontally out of the front of my face. Luckily, by the time I was ten, my parents were so sick of the sight of me that they decided to invest in a set of braces. When you consider that by that time, I had already been wearing thick glasses for three years, and was clinging with (unprecedented for me) determination to my puppy fat, you can no doubt imagine that my early teenage years were pretty uneventful.
Back to the teeth-at-right-angles-to-my-mouth story: I was always baffled by their choice of orthodontist. Not because of the quality of his work (my teeth now point neatly down like gravity would have wanted), or by the state of his office (airy with its own fish pond), but by the fact that his teeth were nothing short of squiff! Why am I regaling you with stories of my sad and lonely childhood? Because people expect professionals to practice what they preach, and they remember (for more than 10 years in some cases! – actually it’s 20, but let’s say 10) when they do not! So if you want to be an industry-leading communications professional, you need to be able to communicate properly! So that means no smiley faces and xoxos, and time to do away with: “sorry, I’m a bit slow today – I have a massive hangover!”
All emails sent should be:
Referring to a previous email
Responding to emails
If you are ever unsure that an email meets acceptable professional standards, then ask a colleague to read it through and check.
It can be very intimidating speaking to people on the phone, particularly when you are new to doing so in a business context. But there are some ways in which you can overcome this. Simply follow the steps below:
It may seem cumbersome, but this is a great way to improve your professional phone manner. Before you speak to someone on the phone, do your research:
Keep your language formal
Try to stick to professional vocabulary.
Follow up with an email.
You can start this with:
Remember that while it is important to get communications right, you will make mistakes, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about them. Everyone you deal with in business is ultimately a person too – with problems and vulnerabilities and insecurities just like you. Learning from every mistake, is more important than getting it 100% right first time.
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog was founded by B2B PR specialist Heather Baker, who runs video production and corporate animation agency TopLine Film and digital PR and SEO agency TopLine Comms. The B2B PR Blog takes contributions from sensible industry folk with something interesting to say.
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