The smash hit “The Big Bang Theory” opened its new season last Thursday with nearly 19 million viewers, making it the biggest sitcom sensation on network television today. The witty portrayal of egghead scientists reveals some interesting insights into effective public relations.

Big Bang’s Sheldon Cooper, a theoretical physicist from Texas, is an uber geek who holds 2 PhDs and conducts string theory research at Caltech. At the heart of his character is an inflated ego driven by obsessive confidence. But every marketing person is confident, right? Well, not so much…

According to a study of 1,000 U.S. marketers released by Adobe Systems Inc. last Monday, only 48 percent of digital marketers feel highly proficient in their professions. Of that, 82 percent said that they learned on the job with no formal training. Marketers also have low confidence in their companies’ marketing performance. Only 40% think their companies’ marketing is effective, according to the report.

On the other end of the spectrum, overconfidence is like having Van Gogh’s ear for music when trying to connect to your target audience. “You know me to be a very smart man. Don’t you think that if I were wrong, I’d know it?” said Sheldon in the episode “The Jimmy Conjecture”. A statement like that would certainly go down like a lead balloon in front of the media.

So, while Sheldon Cooper exudes plenty of confidence, he lacks empathy – an emotion that is vital to successful media pitching efforts. For most journalists on deadline, there’s nothing more compelling than a confident source – an expert thought leader who, by her strong social media presence, thoughtful commentary and enviable command of the spoken word, has the power to convert non-believers.

As the lines of public relations and digital marketing become increasingly blurred, all marketing professionals need to be confident and thoughtful in approaching a wide spectrum of marketing channels. To avoid being a flash in the pan, here are some tips to get biggest bang out of your PR campaign.

Be confident, but don’t be a hard ass. In the Big Bang Theory episode The Maternal Congruence, Sheldon ponders the physics of Superman and other earthly principles: “Lois Lane is falling, accelerating at an initial rate of 32ft per second. Superman swoops down to save her by reaching out two arms of steel. Ms. Lane, who is now traveling at approximately 120 miles per hour, hits them, and is immediately sliced into three equal pieces.”

Clearly, confidence is important when dealing with reporters. But without a thoughtful empathic approach, it’s like Sheldon’s interpretation of the man of steel trying to rescue Lois Lane.

Know your subject matter. While a group of nerds can certainly make for unpleasant company at times, they attract people with their intense level of knowledge. Likewise, reporters are attracted to credible sources who actually know what they’re talking about. As public relations experts on the front lines of media communications, we need to be proficient on the topics we’re pitching.

Treat every opportunity with urgency. The unfortunate reality is that most marketing professionals don’t even believe what they’re pitching. Every campaign becomes a standard procedure of blasting out emails to a dry list of contacts. This method will never produce anything meaningful. Instead, when a sense of urgency becomes standard practice, you will find yourself crafting tailored messages to media contacts who are actually interested in what you have to say.

Don’t get hung up on press releases. Some companies pride themselves in creating lavish press releases with logos, pictures, and even embedded videos of executives in sell mode. While these efforts may have value online, do not send elaborate press releases to media contacts during pitch distribution and follow-up efforts or you’ll run the risk of landing in spam or simply being hung up on.

Remember, while traditional PR is outdated, phones still work. In the Big Bang Theory episode The Isolation Permutation, Sheldon said, “I can’t seem to get in touch with Amy. I tried e-mail, video chat, tweeting her, posting on her Facebook wall, texting her, nothing.” Leonard responds with, “Did you try calling her on the telephone?” Yes, the days of relying solely on reporters to cover stories are long gone. And there is tremendous value in leveraging social media to expand thought leadership with great content. But, pick up the phone, for crying out loud!