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University of Maryland

Department of Communication
COMM386: Experiential Learning

Adalie Mansfield
April 25-27
Spring 2016

POINT PAPER Cold Calling


Subject: My main project this week emphasized the importance of communicating with
unknown publics. Public relations requires pitching to the media and consumers. PR
practitioners will often have to cold call to convince publics to attend events.
Background: The medical center hosts several informational sessions with different
service lines and surgeons to encourage people to become informed and choose the
hospital for their upcoming procedures. This week, the medical center hosted an
informational joint replacement technology session with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Crane. A
few days before the event, my supervisor asked me to call people who had previously
shown interest in joint replacement events to invite them to attend.
Discussion:
I was given the task of cold calling people who had previously expressed interest in joint
replacement information. I did not know much about the event so I was very hesitant to
call people. My supervisor gave me the basic facts and information about the event and
demonstrated a few example calls.
My supervisor gave me a list of about 100 people to invite and I began calling. Many
people did not answer the phone, so I left simple voicemail messages informing them
about the event and instructing them to RSVP if they were interested. The majority of the
people who answered the phone had previously attended a UMBWMC joint replacement
informational event prior to getting surgery, so they were no longer interested. About five
people I reached were very interested in the event and I added them to the attendance list.
I was very intimidated by this task. I did not know much about the event and I was
worried people would ask me questions that I did not know the answer. I was also
nervous that people would think I was it was a sales call and become hostile. Luckily,
everyone I reached was very polite and I could answer all of the basic questions that were
asked. After I finished my calls, I felt more confident with calling and pitching.
Recommendations: As a public relations practitioner, it is common to be asked to cold
call publics to spread awareness about an event. It is imperative to be able to
communicate effectively and inform publics of important information and convince them
to attend, without appearing overbearing. In the future, I will communicate more
effectively and inform people the purpose of my call right away so I do not waste my
time or their time.