Posted by: Ian Ross | February 17, 2008

Telemarketing Hurts PR

Telemarketers are a common evening visitor for most folks these days. For us, Bell Canada, Rogers and credit card companies are the most common culprits. We even got a call from a Jehovah’s Witness last week. Apparently my soul needs to be saved.

In a way, this is just a regular annoyance we’ve come to except. However, the more a company calls, the less I think of it. That’s because no matter how many times I explain why I don’t need their service or product, they don’t listen. You would think this is an excellent opportunity for companies to build in a little two-way communication. They must have a file on me. So why not take my feedback and make some notes? This would be good public relations.

I used to have a Toronto Star subscription but they stopped delivering to my apartment door. This was the value-added that made the subscription work for me. So I cancelled and explained that I didn’t want to spend five minutes in the morning heading down to the lobby in my bathrob. Yes, I’m a tad lazy at 6am.

However, the Star keeps calling with new discount offers and I keep explaining that the price isn’t the issue, delivery is. They don’t listen. So I don’t feel they care. And I’m less of a loyal reader now than I was a year ago. But think about how I would feel if they called and said, “Mr. Ross, we can deliver to your door again. Would you be interested in restarting your subscription?” I might just pass out.

I guess telemarketing must benefit companies’ bottom lines, cause there seems to be more and more calls each year. But I wonder if this isn’t creating a PR backlash. Consumers want to be heard, but companies don’t want to listen. So sales might go up, but it is likely impairing their public relations efforts.



  1. […] moment thinking that my positive experience with the company was about to be ruined. I’ve blogged before about how telemarketing can often damage a PR […]

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