For many of us, technology allows faster means of communication and greater job efficiency. With new developments being released every day it’s easy to get carried away with everything. I came across a post from A Shel of My Former Self blog, which describes how all forms of technology should be taken advantage of to the fullest extent in business, particularly public relations without feeling guilty about neglecting older forms of communication. This post is a response by blogger Shel Holtz, ABC, principal Holtz Communication and Technology, who recently read another blog asking public relations practitioners to return to more personal means of communication like the telephone. But with deals and other forms of business taking place online, is it necessary to lay off the e-mail?
Holtz argues that PR practitioners shouldn’t have to sacrifice internet-based communication tools, but should incorporate them with face-to-face meetings and phone calls. It’s important to remember that the telephone is technology too. And while some people are overly-dependent on technology in the workplace, the power of in-person communication should not be underestimated especially when it’s most appropriate. The post cites an example of employees being fired over e-mail, which I believe takes technology too far. It’s important to utilize channels of communication that are professional for the situation.
I believe we shouldn’t fear our dependency on technology as long as we don’t abuse it. There is no reason to limit ourselves if we’re able to effectively reach the client, stakeholders and remain within the realm of professionalism. E-mail isn’t unconventional anymore, in fact, it’s widely accepted for numerous tasks. And having interned at a local public relations firm I know that the telephone is alive and well. Voice tone can express sincerity and reassurance much more naturally than text. For this reason, I believe phone calls will remain an important part of PR. Each form of communication should be used to its strength.