You’re busy, I’m busy. So I keep these little thoughts, all nicked from the TV newsroom, to five pithy paragraphs. If they’re helpful, do share them!
I got the shock of my life the other day. A press officer called up the newsroom, spoke to me, and asked if I’d be interested in a story. She said she thought it might be right for our audience, perhaps in the light-hearted slot before the weather.
She hadn’t emailed me. She hadn’t used Mailchimp. She hadn’t sent me anything at all. What she had done, I thought to myself, was rather revolutionary. She had actually communicated with me, making me and my programme feel valued. And that made me warm to her — and her story. So I then asked her to email me all the details.
Somewhere over the last twenty or so years, it seems to me, our ideas of communication have got scrambled. I do it myself running my business: I’ll reach the end of the day and feel that because I’ve sent fifty emails, I’ve communicated with fifty people. But I haven’t really: I’ve offered information to fifty people who are probably drowning in information already, possibly annoyed some of them, and may well have been ignored by most of the rest.
So I try to call people more these days, and it’s having wonderful results. I think using speech shows you actually care. A very senior TV News Editor confided in me once that when he gets a complaint, before he touches his keyboard he tries to call the person to talk it through. They’re usually so flattered that peace immediately breaks out. When I run my TV News themed business-skills workshops, I try and call up as many of the guests as possible a day or two beforehand to ask them what they hope to get out of it. Several have told me it puts them at ease about something they may have been a bit nervous about.
Of course, you can’t call everyone, all the time. Calling up someone who has no reason at all to want to hear from you amounts to cold-calling, and I’m not recommending too much of that. But if a relationship is already established, I’d suggest picking up the phone as soon as possible. It might be the shock that jump-starts the relationship.
If you’d like to find out more about how I create mini-newsrooms in your workplace to help your staff develop their focus, timekeeping and decision-making, do give me a call on 01273 606246 or 07850 188620! Though an email will be welcome, too …
Pic courtesy of arstechnica.co.uk