This past week has been nothing short of annoying on the electronic communication front. I have sent out more than a dozen emails to various people ranging from presidents of nonprofit organizations to…of course…students. Crickets.
In the case of the students, I’m not completely surprised. Not happy, but not surprised. My Curry College COM/PR students and Curry College PR Student Association members have all learned that I WILL track them down on social media if they don’t answer their Curry email. Facebook and Twitter are my two main “gotcha” platforms, but I’m not above resorting to Instagram or even LinkedIn if necessary.
But the organizational leaders??? Apparently the concept of “professional courtesy” got swept into the trash at some point in their respective careers.
I’m not selling anything. In fact, I’m offering them the opportunity to put their organization’s name and expertise in front of an audience of more than 20,000 PR professionals.
Sadly, I’m not the only one who has experienced this lack of common courtesy. I had lunch recently with a friend…PR director for a college…who unloaded about a certain faculty member who point-blank TOLD her he doesn’t respond to emails in any sort of reliable manner.
Yeah…I get it. You’re busy. Here’s a news flash for you… “We’re ALL busy.” But some of us appreciate the fact that other human life-forms are trying to communicate with us…and we show our appreciation by returning the courtesy.
Successful people don’t operate in a vacuum. They get their inspiration and their creativity from the interactions they have with others…sharing of ideas…“test-driving” concepts…“reality checks.”
And that’s the message, as a PR pro until recently teaching the next generation(s) of PR practitioners, I’ve tried to get across in my PR classes and in my personal/professional lives. No, you don’t have to respond within microseconds of having received a message. And circumstances may prevent you from immediately responding.
When I’m in the air flying from New York to Taipei, I don’t obsess about the fact that I’m “off the grid” for umpteen hours. But I DO make a point of responding as soon after I land as possible with a brief explanation of the delay.
Once again, it’s common courtesy. AND it’s professional courtesy. I’m saying to my contacts, regardless of who they might be, “You are important to me, and I appreciate your communication with me.” Whether it’s an old college roommate or a reporter…or my boss…the same applies.
So make this action a habit. Check your email…and your social media platforms…regularly. And, if you have a message, don’t ignore it. Above all else, check your &#%@ email!!