You’ve all been there – a reporter calls asking for a customer to interview for a story, and the vendor who supplies the reference customer asks that one of their spokespeople be interviewed before the reporter talks to the customer. Both interviews take place, but only the customer quote wind up in the story.

 

Why? At least in one recent case, it’s because the vendor used their precious interview time to tell the customer’s implementation story for them, highlighting (of course!) the vendor’s role in helping the customer. All that interview gave me, as the writer, was a secondhand version of the customer’s story, which I had to confirm in my later interview with the customer themselves. That meant wasted time for me but, more importantly, nothing new from the vendor interview I could use in my story.

 

Lesson: When a client insists of being interviewed along with a reference customer, brief them on the writer’s story and the trends or questions the writer will be answering. If they insist of talking about the reference customer, be sure they’re ready to tie the customer’s story to the wider trends or issues the writer is addressing in their story.

 

 

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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