Load Skype on your smartphone.
Your voice will SOUND much better on the air.
It’s free, it’s easy to set up and use, and you will set yourself apart from other newsmakers and PR people who rely on lousy cell or landline connections.
Anyone with a fairly recent smartphone can establish a free Skype account, at www.skype.com.
Using voice over Internet technology, you can make free calls to other Skype users.
With Skype you don’t need to know a person’s phone number — you’ll want to know their contact account name.
For instance, if we were going to do an interview, I’d tell you our Skype account is wtopnews.
Once you establish your free Skype account, and download it on your phone, you would Search Skype Directory, and add wtopnews to your contacts.
When it’s time for the interview, you press Call, and a notification pops up on our newsroom computer that you are calling. We click Answer, and we’re connected.
Or, I can call you, once I know your Skype contact name.
As in any phone conversation, you hear through the earpiece and speak into the mouthpiece.
If you’re in a wifi hot spot, and especially if using an iPhone, or iPod Touch, as I record our conversation you will likely sound almost as good as if you were using expensive broadcast equipment.
If your office has wifi, you can sit at your desk, with all your creature comforts, while speaking into your “smartphone-turned-broadcast-microphone.”
If you’re on the road, even when relying on a 3G connection, you will sound markedly better using a Skype connection than dialing a “regular” phone call.
Since you care about sounding good, make sure journalists know you are Skype-equipped.
When pitching stories, include your Skype contact address.
Include your Skype address on your business card.
When a reporter calls for an interview, ask “would you like to do this on Skype?”
With radio news on FM, HD, satellite, and streamed online, “can you hear me now” won’t cut it anymore.
Download Skype on your phone — you won’t regret it. And let me know if you have any questions.