Making it easy for people to find you is the Golden Rule for my Chicago PR firm. And this rule applies to any business or nonprofit or job hunter, too. Yet, so many people fail to add phone numbers and other contact information in all communications touch points.
Surprisingly, this topic touched a nerve recently among my LinkedIn connections. Nearly 700 people viewed my post and more than 30 people liked, shared, or commented on it, so I thought it was worth sharing with you, too.
A business journalist at a top-rated Chicago broadcast outlet recently called me to say: “You are one of the smartest PR people out there because it’s so easy to find your phone number online. I only have to Google your name and I can find your phone number in a second.”
While I was flattered by his praise, the reality is seconds matter to this reporter, because he faces deadlines every half hour. With instant access to me and the team at my Chicago PR firm, this reporter knows I’ll immediately find experts he needs. He knows I’ll find him a source quickly. Plus, when he calls me, my client experts get another chance to make news. It’s a huge win for my business.
It’s such a no-brainer! Yet so many people ignore their most valuable, yet underrated PR and business development tool – their phone number. If you’re one of them, consider this simple PR Checklist to make sure you are easily called and found when customers, partners, journalists and prospects search for you.
I can already hear the pushback about getting phone spam. Is it worth losing a business opportunity due to your anxiety of spam calls? You can take steps to prevent annoying calls or check with your phone provider about their features to prevent spam and robo calls.
Six PR Tips: Why & How to Share Your Phone Number
In Your Signature Line
An unscientific count of emails I received this past week in my Chicago PR agency inbox show roughly 40 to 50 percent don’t include any contact information in their signature, which is astounding. Email is the lifeline communication for clients and colleagues, so you’re missing an opportunity by failing to share your phone numbers with people with whom you already know and value. My signature line includes both office and mobile phones, as well as my web site and email address. Everything is conveniently found in one place. I believe by refusing to insert your phone number into your signature line, you’re telling your own business contacts “Don’t bother me.” Is that what you really intended?
You should ALWAYS include your contact information in your presentations. Your phone, email and website info should be at the bottom of every page in a templated presentation.
This is so important when presenting to influential people or C-Suite execs with whom you don’t frequently interact. If you snag the chance to present to a client’s Board of Directors, be sure your contact information is in the presentation. I learned that value when the Chairman of the board pulled my number from a presentation deck and referred me to someone.
Let’s say someone requests your bio, and you send it along, assuming if they need your email and phone, they’ll find it in their inbox. What if that someone forwards your bio to a friend, who will not know how to contact you. Don’t leave it to chance; add your contact info!
New Business Proposals
If your proposals are on your company‘s letterhead, be sure your contact information is in your template or on the first and final slide in a slide deck. I make sure it’s inserted in my Thank You page, with a specific call to action for further discussion.
LinkedIn and Other Networks
Understandably, many of us are skittish about adding a phone number to all of our social profiles. At a minimum, provide your phone, email and post address on LinkedIn, the world’s #1 professional network. For Facebook, Twitter and others, a minimum of your personal email address will get you found among new potential audiences.
Business Cards — I almost forgot!
I certainly haven’t handed out a business card lately. Will COVID-19 make the printed business card extinct? That’s a discussion for another time. For now, I invite you to share your thoughts and let me know if any of these PR tips have worked for you.