10 Tips for Leaving Effective Voice Mail Messages for the Media

January 2003
by Annie Jennings

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Today working with the media often includes leaving voice mail messages for your contacts. The following are 10 tips to help make your messages more effective.

Tip #1: Always go for the close!Tip #2: Never ramble. Make your pitch in 30 seconds or less!

Tip #3: Practice leaving yourself a voice mail. Cut out all of the “ummms” as you practice. If you get bored listening to yourself then you know you’re in trouble. Practice your 30-second pitch until you can say it naturally and conversationally with enthusiasm and joy in your voice. Tip #4: Always leave your phone number twice–once at the beginning and again at the end of the voice mail. Speak at a fast pace when leaving your message but slow down and speak clearly when leaving the contact information. Tip #5: Lead with your strengths and focus on the benefits to the contact’s audience. Pick one or two benefits that listeners would be able to use immediately to make their lives better. This will not be your only chance to pitch to that media contact. Believe me, more voice mails will follow.

Tip #6: With the first voice mail, always say you will fax or e-mail information related to your subject matter. That way, the media contact will have something in their hands with your phone number on it, which makes it easier for them to contact you. Tip #7: Never leave more than one voice mail per day. I usually like to keep the follow-up pr…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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