This is not breaking news, nor is it coverage of the Wall Street meltdown or the Sarah Palin moose-dressing media extravaganza. This is a PR 101 story/quick rant — and it’s old news. Every now and then (5 to 10 times a week) I get a call from an account executive or intern who is wondering whether I received their email about so-and-so joining the firm or company. Sometimes it’s a question of whether I received their fax — and I’m old enough to have received faxed press releases back in the day The voice message I received yesterday at 8 p.m. was from a woman trying to reach Charlie and asking whether I/Charlie received the important email about someone joining their agency, and whether PR Newswire would be running the story. You know by now that I’m not Charlie and PR News is not PR Newswire. And if you’re really good, you know that PR News does not run personnel moves. To help callers, my voice mail refers to me as Diane, as in This is Diane Schwartz…thanks for calling.
How can one person get it all so wrong? If you are assigning staff to check on emails sent or to email a journalist to check on voice messages left, make sure they are getting the facts right. And question (yourself) whether such follow-ups are even worth your company’s time anymore.
So, back to the Charlie-caller: I called her back and left her a voice message. But I have not heard back. Maybe I’ll email her to see if she received my call.
– Diane Schwartz