When Someone in the Media Wants to Interview You, Respond Quickly

It’s not uncommon for media I know to express frustration over professionals who respond to their queries on HARO and similar sites and then become impossible to reach. Now I realize many of you have very busy days, but if someone in the media wants to interview you, jump! Seize the opportunity!!!

If you don’t, you are likely to miss out on the chance for some publicity because most journalists work with tight deadlines and so they can’t afford to wait to see if they are going to hear back from you eventually. 

It’s not difficult to ensure that you are in a position to respond quickly when someone in the media reaches out to you. Mostly it’s a matter of having some very simple systems in place. For example:

Leave an alternative number on your office voice mail message that journalists can call when you are out of the office. The number for your cell phone number or if might be your assistant's number, for example. You may also want to mention in your voice mail message that you can be reached via text and email and include your email address in the message.

Make sure that your email signature includes all of your contact information. That same information should be on your website as well.

Check your voice mail, email inbox and texts regularly. Promptly respond to any queries from journalists.

Train your receptionist or assistant on how to respond when someone from the media reaches out to you. For example, it goes without saying that your receptionist or assistant should write down the name of the journalist who wants to talk with you and how best for you to reach him or her. Your receptionist or assistant should also know to record the name of the media outlet the journalist is working for and to find out how quickly that journalist needs to hear back from you. Instruct your receptionist or assistant to share all of this information with you immediately so you can jump on the media opportunity.

Finally, if you speak to someone in the media and you cannot be of help to him or her, always try to connect that person with someone who can. Being helpful is a good way to build goodwill with the media and to increase the likelihood that you will have another shot at an interview at a later date.

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