Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What to do when a reporter calls

The phone rings. It's a reporter from the local television station on the line, and he wants to talk to an executive at your company right away.

What do you do? First, take a deep breath. You don't need to respond right away -- start by asking the reporter some questions, such as:
  • When is your deadline?
  • What is the angle of your story?
  • How will the interview be conducted -- over the phone, in person, via satellite, etc.?
  • Whom else are you interviewing for the story?
Take note of the reporter's answers. Be sure to write down all of the reporter's contact information, and then tell the reporter that you will get back to him in time for his deadline. Then connect with the appropriate subject matter expert and prepare him or her for the interview.

In terms of deadlines, they are critically important to meet -- both for the reporter and for you. If you don't get back to a reporter in time, your organization or client probably will not be included in the story.
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