By faithfully evaluating clippings, we have
compiled a store of documented data for each
publication with which we deal. Periodically, the
Clip Slip information is tabulated, making it easy to
spot recurring forms of editing.
In addition, a provision is made on our
distribution sheets for checking off the publications
using our stories. This makes for speedy study of
Like any other procedure, Clipanalysis is not a
cumbersome task if the work is not allowed to pile
up. The evaluation process is really quite intriguing.
The system helps our firm gauge its effec-
tiveness in a very concrete way, but more important,
it lets us know how well we are servicing our clients.
This kind of evaluation is an area in which too many
public relations firms are lax, and an area where
advertising agencies take the lead.
The advantages of Clipanalysis are appealing to
any public relations practioner. It relieves tension
by transforming guesswork about placement into
documented guidelines. And it aids in relations with
editors by always providing them with what they
wantnothing more, nothing less, nothing un-
Learning Objective: Recognize the fundamentals of
telephone etiquette, properly taking messages and
using answering and facsimile machines.
Good telephone communications are vital to the
smooth operation of a public affairs office. The way you
conduct yourself on the telephone will leave lasting
impressions, either favorable or unfavorable ones, on
the person calling your office. As the public affairs office
manager, you must make sure your staff is well versed
on telephone procedures so favorable impressions are
Open a telephone conversation with a phrase
identifying your office and yourself. In answering the
telephone, you might say, for example, Naval Air
Station Public Affairs, Petty Officer Knott speaking,
may I help you please? The following are some
telephone etiquette tips:
. Slow down. Blurting out Navalairstation-
mayIhelpyouplease? in less than three seconds
is disconcerting and has no place in public affairs
office telephone communications. An introduc-
tion using a steady, conversational tone is best
and will make the caller feel at ease.
. Give the caller your undivided attention. Picking
up the receiver while finishing a conversation
with someone in the office is annoying and rude.
. Do not eat or drink. Coming across as a marble
mouth will do nothing to enhance your
credibility and that of the office.
If the callers identity is unknown, you should ask
for a name and organization. Ask for it tactfully, for
example, May I ask who is calling, please? or May I
have your name, please? Avoid phrases that sound
abrupt or suspicious, such as Who is this? or Whos
After obtaining the callers identity, cordially offer
any assistance or answer desired by the caller. If a call
is received for another member of the staff, do not put
the caller on hold without telling him what you are
doing. One moment, please, followed by the action
you are taking, is acceptable. NEVER use the long-
standing, ill-advised phrase, Wait one. Also avoid
Hold on, Hang on, Hold the line, Just a minute,
Just a second, and so forth.
A good public affairs office manager will maintain
a sign-in/out board where a staff member can list his
time of departure, destination and an estimated time of
return. This information comes in handy when handling
a call for someone who is absent. Offer this information
to a telephone caller if it appears appropriate.
It is often a good idea, when the person called is out,
to say, Perhaps I could help you. Even if it turns out
that you cannot, the caller will appreciate your good will.
Some additional telephone etiquette tips are as
Answer the telephone as promptly as possible. It
should not be left unattended during working
When you make a call, allow the person plenty
of time (about 10 rings) to reach the instrument.
If you have placed a caller on hold, return to the
telephone as quickly as you can. If you see it is
going to take longer than you thought, explain the
difficulty, and ask if the caller would prefer to
wait or to have you call back.