I do several conference calls a week, as PR people sit in as I interview their clients.
And at least 50% of them have some audio problems. that make the interview sub-optimal About 10% are so bad that the interview becomes all-but-useless.
Some of those I put down to my consumer-grade VoIP line.
The rest I think are down to flaws in the networks and technologies that make conference calls possible.
It all gets me thinking why these calls need to be conferences anyway.
I understand that PRs like to know what went on during an interview, just in case I rough up their clients, they say something indiscreet or I completely misquote them in the stories I write later on.
But aren’t interviewees big enough and ugly enough to fend for themselves?
If they could be taught to cope with a 1:1 call it would be easier for this journalist.
Either that, or find a conference service that works.
Conference call etiquette is also worth a mention. More often than you would imagine, parties who were never mentioned as participants pop up on a call. That’s rude.
It’s also hard to keep track of multiple speakers in a conference call, especially when they do not take the trouble to identify themselves.
This means, in practice, that one of the speakers often will not be quoted.