If one simple action guaranteed a giant bump in success, would you do it? I say “Yes!”  But surprisingly, the act of picking up the phone, a simple action that so clearly boosts success, is often overlooked.

With smartphones and tablets in hand, we have become a culture so ingrained in email, that many of us have forgotten the value and success that a simple phone call can bring. Each of us has drafted that perfect email, the one with great intentions and superior details, only to find that after pushing the send button, there are unanswered questions.  We were misunderstood, the bullet points that we thought were SO clear have been misinterpreted–or worse yet, it was never read.

In business and public relations alike, relationships crank the wheels of success–and these relationships are rarely solidified over the black and white canvas of email.  Rather they are created through the conversations, check-ins and the friendly banter of in-person and verbal communication.

Our phones are smart and emails are great, but the simple act of saying “hi – how is your day” can be groundbreaking in terms of breaking through the clutter.

Last week a client of mine headed to one of the leading conferences in their industry and I was tasked with booking media briefings, the on-site in-person meetings that REALLY matter.  Although email communication is often the first step in these matters, it is rarely enough. It was a phone call to an editor whom I had previously spent time getting to know, and talking with about his publication, that became a hugely successful opportunity.  One briefing and 2 media opportunities later–I say “win!”

There are best practices in all things business and sales, from the timing of your calls to the language that you use. These four guidelines will boost the effectiveness of your media relations efforts.

Be Helpful – working with media is not all about the ask, journalists are hungry for news and information.  Freely share great information while not asking for anything in return. Each media opportunity should be a win for all parties involved.

Share More – You don’t have to wait for the “hard news” to share with your journalist friends, keep them regularly informed on the new and important happenings of your company–not just the next release.

Know the Schedule – Stay atop the calendar and keeps tabs on upcoming conferences where journalists may be in attendance, when webinars are scheduled and always keep a close eye on deadlines–if you don’t know, ask.  Never jump straight into your pitch–find out if “now” is the best time.

Gratitude – There is nothing that feels better than a genuine “thank you”. Today, the media industry sees fewer journalists doing far more work than any time in recent memory.  A quick word of thanks can keep the relationship going and open the door for future opportunities.  Who doesn’t want to work with a genuinely friendly individual who delivers a great product in a timely manner?!

A well written email can lead to success, but don’t stand by waiting for a reply–get on the phone, get the in-person introduction and tell you own great story!

Connect with me and Write2Market and let’s continue the conversation.

Twitter: @joelloyd  @write2market LinkedIn: Joé Lloyd | Write2Market