Sunday, January 10, 2010

Learning to Love Cold-Calling

Cold calling leaves many of us cold. Especially perhaps in public relations. I'm drawn to the field because I care about people and enjoy helping others, talking to others, and connecting others. A late bloomer, who used to be painfully shy, I love the limelight, and have to curb the tendency to grab the podium and make an audience of whomever will listen. I suppose that's part of the beauty of blogging. One presumes the audience is 100% voluntary.

So, that brings me to one of the areas of my PR duties that I don't always feel warm and fuzzy about. That's cold calling. I am predominantly a writer, before being a salesman on the stump. I would prefer to select and hone words and let people pick through them at their own leisurely pace. Like the rest of us, I loathe unsolicited telemarketing calls. I appreciate the serene silence of no phone calls, no matter how adorable the ringtone.

And I suppose a wee bit of that vestigial shyness kicks in before I pick up the phone--or these days cut and paste a number into the Skype calling number field. But once I get on the phone, it's actually a pleasure, meeting that real person on the other end. Before long, I've got a new friend, and I'm volunteering to help them with their mission, whether an editor I want to help save the dying industry of newspapers or a librarian I'm secretly in awe of for their commitment to this misunderstood profession, or a fellow blogger that I end up chatting with about what's going on in their neck of the world. Like working out, or other habits that take getting used to for us to enjoy, I suspect I am going to start loving cold calling. Achoo!

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