PR Tips 101: Breathe, Relax… Cut Your Peers Some Slack
Everyone has heard the saying, “patience is a virtue”, I am fairly sure that some of the people I have corresponded with have let that one go in one ear and right out the other. We are in a business where most of us are balancing a home office, personal life, and marriage/relationships/children. Sometimes we just need to give everyone a break, or at least the benefit of the doubt. Unless it is an extremely time sensitive matter, if someone has not gotten back to an email in a 24 hour time period, don’t freak out. It does not mean that they don’t like you, most likely they are just busy because YES people do have a life outside of the wedding industry (imagine that!!). If you really want to work with someone but they have told you that they are really busy, give them time and be patient with them. If it’s a fit its going to work out regardless of how fast they write you back on their blackberry. Most of what I do as a wedding publicist is email, call, take a meeting and then wait. Do you think you are the only person in the world contacting that vendor? I am aware I am not the only person reaching out that editor. I know, I know, you are annoyed because you want them to get back to you right away- because you are paying them or you referred them the job and should be their number one priority. Well, guess what? They might be traveling, have come down with the flu, dealing with a family tragedy, taking a personal day to spend time with their kids etc.. OR they could also be working on the 35 other items that have come across their plate. I know first hand- I am constantly juggling waiting and am reminded of patience (especially when I am expected to get back to people right away too)! As small business owners we need to respect one another and be understanding. It may take someone a week to get back to me- that’s ok. I am conditioned to reach out and wait. If you don’t hear back send a kind follow up email. Remember: “You attract more bees with honey than you do vinegar.” If you want something from someone you’ll be more apt to get it and returned in a timely matter if you are not breathing down their necks or approaching them with a threatening tone.
Boundaries are 100% necessary in this business in regards to separating your time between your personal and professional life. It will only fodder the impatience fire, if you are a slave to your email around the clock. If people know that you will respond to them regardless of the time, then they will email you regardless of the time and expect a response. Keep your correspondence to normal business hours whatever that may be for you. Is it 7-3p? or 8-6p? or maybe it is even later depending on your line of work. We have been conditioned to be accessible at all hours of the day but for many of you wedding vendors you are also expected to be available on the weekends as well OR else: the bride may go find someone else if you don’t respond ASAP, or the vendor may not book me and go elsewhere. Guess what?: It’s not meant to be! We need to set the standard for the lifestyle we choose to lead. Our business does not run our lives- we just let it. It’s in your hands to set the hours that work for you, respond to people when it fits in your schedule, and celebrate life all at the same time. Life is short… be nice to others and enjoy it!
*please note this was originally posted on 9/29/09
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