Monday, February 01, 2010

Monday Writers Craft Online: Email Interviews Pros And Cons

Are you running a blog and looking for some publicity? Over the next 3 weeks I'll be talking about common issues that are worth thinking about. For basic interview tips, checking legitimacy, and whether you can approve pre-publication copy, check the weeks past...

This week I'd like to talk about pros and cons of email interviews.

First the pros...

#1 An email interview gives you more control over the things you say. You see the questions all lined up in advance, and have time to think about and polish your answers.

#2 If you are nervous at an interview and stammer a lot, emailing your quote means there is less likelihood of your being misunderstood and misquoted. When you write your replies the journo will cut and paste whenever possible (because we are lazy and love shortcuts at work just like everyone else!)

#3 If you want to talk about something that you were not asked, you can add a sentence or two at the end with your point, and you may be able to get that bit in too. That means more space and more publicity for you.

#4 If you're good at giving quick good quotes, then an online interview takes less time and effort than a face to face interview. Plus, we will remember you and ask you for more quick quotes anytime we're stuck!

The cons....

#1 Most of us speak one way and write another. Journos learn lots of writing styles, so they can appeal to many markets. This takes time and training.

Most people are competent but not skilled writers. Even really good bloggers sometimes freeze over an email interview. Online comedians come off sounding like academics, great fun mums sound like hanging judges...

If this is your problem, ask if you can talk on the phone for a few minutes and have the journo quote you instead so that you sound right.

#2 You don't get a feel of what the journo is thinking. When you talk to someone, you can tell whether you are "getting along" or not. And if your answers are too long, too short, or whatever. Over email, you don't get this sort of interactive feedback.

The best way to deal with this is to answer all the questions to the best of your ability as quickly as possible. And offer a phone interview "to clear up any other questions you may have"... Then give them your number.

NEXT WEEK: 3 Publicity Do's And Don'ts

If you want to keep in touch with updates, here are some simple ways:
Subscribe to Katz Tales in a reader
Subscribe to Katz Tales by Email
Follow Au on Twitter

Follow Ellen on Facebook


No comments: