Friday, June 4, 2010

First impressions matter

WARNING: I am now stepping up on my soapbox.

I really do not understand people and their actions at times, especially upon their first verbal interaction with someone either face-to-face or on the phone.

Before I go any further, let me just say this: First impressions matter, and a bad first impression can be a difficult thing to overcome.

Recently, I called a someone whom I had only conversed with through email. I wanted to speak with them about some things regarding one of our athletic programs which has been in the news a bit lately.

So I place the call, and was greeted by a "Yo!"

Excuse me? Mediapersonsaywhat?

I understand answering the phone like that if you are familiar with the person. But I had never called this person before, and I am sure they did not know my cell number.

Immediately, I was thrown for a loop. Warning bells and sirens were going off in my head. My PR brain was spinning and now I was getting nervous on this project involving my school was going to be handled and treated. Can this person provide a good and fair representation of our athletic program?

(NOTE: I am very happy to report that the media representation this person gave our athletic program and our school was first rate. My fears were relieved.)

I receive calls from all over the place, and when I see a number pop up that I do not recognize, I answer it the  same way every time: "Hi, this is Jay." (If I know who is it calling, they better watch out depending on the amount of coffee I've had already. Never know what they might get ... hehe)

More often than not, the call is from a media person and/or another sports information director. In those incidences, I am representing Union and the Bulldog athletic department. I need to put my best foot forward. After all, as the sports information director, how others view Union athletics is largely based on how they perceive me. (A scary and humbling thought at times.)

And this does not apply solely to the media and sports information business. It goes for whatever profession you are on.

So the next time your phone rings and you don't recognize the number, don't greet the caller with a "Yo!"

(I am now stepping off my soapbox.)

1 comment:

  1. Well said. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression - whether over the phone, e-mail, in person, over the internet. Many people's job prospects have been damaged by their internet postings.