“She never returns her calls.”
“We rushed to get them the estimate to meet their deadline and now they won’t tell us what’s happening with the project.”
“I stayed late to finish that report and didn’t even get as much as a thank you for it.”
How many times have you heard professional women make remarks like these? It seems that in the rush to deal with everyday life and work, it has become O.K. to ignore common courtesy, like returning phone calls or letting someone know you won’t need their services.
Don’t fall into that trap. One of the best public relations and communications tools of all is to have good manners and use common courtesy in your dealings with people. Here are a few examples where doing the right thing will create good PR for you and your business:
- Develop a reputation for returning all of your calls and emails. (Junk email and calls as well as unsolicited sales calls are the exception.) Set up a time to do so each day. If you can’t keep up with the volume of calls or emails, have an administrative assistant or co-worker help you out.
- Always thank people who have rushed to provide you with information. Think about how you feel when you go out of your way to do something for someone and they don’t acknowledge it. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Even if it’s their job, those little words ‘thank you’ can make a big impact. Plus, the next time you need something in a hurry, you’ll probably get their cooperation again.
- Send personal notes of congratulations or thanks. Handwritten notes are not common place these days, which is why they can make someone’s day. The notes don’t have to be long, just a few sincere lines wishing the person well, congratulating them or thanking them. You probably remember the last time you received such a note. It made a difference, didn’t it? And you probably think highly of the person who sent it.
- Don’t ignore administrative assistants or receptionists. They’re people too and they are just doing their job when they ask for your name or company. If you’re rude to them, you can bet they won’t go out of their way to help you.
- If you have requested quotes, estimates or proposals and have decided to use another firm or delay the project, politely say so. It’s also helpful if you explain why they aren’t getting the business. It’s not good manners to ignore the situation or to avoid calls. Most of us in business strive to improve our proposals, products and services, so this kind of feedback can be immensely helpful. Yes, it’s tough to say someone didn’t get the project, but they understand you can’t win them all.
- When you receive a letter from a job seeker, always send a response. Even if it is brief, simply state you have no openings or their skills don’t match what you’re looking for. You can develop a template for such a letter, which will make it a snap to send out.
There’s a saying, ‘You get what you give.’ That might be a bit simplistic, but there is truth in the statement. Common courtesy involves the little things; little things that impact your reputation and your relationships at work and in life.
Written originally for w2wlink.com by Susan Finco, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
Susan Finco is the owner and president of Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc., a full service public relations firm based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The company specializes in issues management, media relations, image campaigns and crisis management. Its national client base ranges from business and industry to small organizations and nonprofits. Prior to co-founding the firm in 1992, Susan was an award winning journalist, working in television news in Milwaukee and Green Bay, as well as with a national television syndication company based in Pennsylvania. To learn more about Leonard & Finco Public Relations, go to: www.LFpublicrelations.com