I think we know each other well enough now for me to share a little secret. And I’m trusting you not to abuse it.
Deep breath. I do answer my landline. You ring, I answer, we get to talk.
There, I’ve said it.
I know this goes against the prevailing tide – every week on here a journalist announces, almost like a badge of honour, that they never answer their phone – but I couldn’t do my job without.
It’s not that I’m desperate to hear another PR pitch, but I write for various sections of the paper, so often I’m waiting for someone to call me back for an on-the-day story.
I have no choice but to answer my phone.
If, as a result, you’ve rung and I’ve given you short shrift, I apologise. It’s not that I mean to be curt, but with a 5pm deadline approaching, the pressure sometimes tells.
Why answer the phone if you are so busy, you might reasonably have wondered. Well, now you know. Not to be rude, but had I known it was you, I wouldn’t have bothered.
So do ring by all means (mornings better than afternoons) but make your phone call count. It is a great way of moving an email conversation forward, or batting around ideas or pinning me down if you are owed a reply. What it’s not so good for is making an initial pitch, or worse, simply telling me about a new product.
Isn’t that what email was invented for?