As an intern at a PR firm, conference calls are a daily day task. They are crucial in order to gather information, collaborate with clients, or to readjust a strategic plan. The ability to reach out and communicate with the world, especially in our digital age, has become second nature. While interning at FluentPR, I have experienced first-hand both great and terrible conference calls. I’ve also experienced less-than-stellar writing, so I was inspired to highlight a well-written article that also addresses the tricky skill of conference calls.
We’ve all been on a conference call where there’s at least one person who has a dog barking, a child crying in the background, or a person who keeps interrupting. Not only is this distracting and annoying, but it also leads to an unproductive call.
Chad Brooks, a writer for Business News Daily, wrote an article called Can You Hear Me Now? Avoid the Most Common Conference Call Faux Pas. He offers ideas on how to make a conference call more beneficial and effective. One of the tips he gives is to have an agenda sent out and reviewed by every person involved with the call.
Joanne Blake, CEO of Style for Success and a business etiquette expert, chimes in saying that “A lot of faux pas…can be eliminated if ground rules are set in advance. Preparation is key”.
Alongside the importance of productive conference calls, writing is crucial, especially for Public Relations Practitioners. One of the reasons for writing this blog is to shed light on how to become a great writer by using the 13 tips from Steven Pinker, a Harvard linguist. One of the tips he gives via Twitter is “Prose is a window onto the world.” Allowing readers to visualize what you’re writing, helps make you a better writer.
One of the reasons we consider Brooks’ article to be an example of a well-written piece is because of his concrete and concise language. For example, he describes an interrupting caller as “monopolizing,” and listening to “monopolizing” callers can make you “itch to quickly hang up.” We all can picture what this is like and how horrible calls can be with this type of person on the other line.
This article is also very readable. Brooks explains and shares his knowledge in a way that most anyone would understand. When you read an article with overbearing jargon and acronyms, it makes reading cumbersome and discouraging, similar to this sentence.
This internship taught me the value of using everyday language and painting your story though prose. As for conference calls, I’ll be walking in to my new job prepared with an agenda in place for what we want to be accomplished.
These are just a few of the skills we honed, making me a prepared PR practitioner.
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