Friday, December 19, 2014

So a reporter wants to ride along or interview you …

There is an article circulating around that details the ride-along of a Bloomberg reporter for a week. It’s stirred up quite the hubbub and reviews are mixed, with most feeling that trucking took a slap to the face.

I’m not going to get into dissecting the piece here, right now anyway. Because when there is one
reporter who does an expose type article, others think it’s a great idea and decide to do the same – on the same topic.

So there’s a bigger issue at stake here, and that’s how to deal with the press. I bashed on mainstream earlier this week, and I couldn’t be more serious when I say that you have to be careful when you are being interviewed.

Jokes are rarely a good idea. Tongue-in-cheek statements are even worse.

Typically, a reporter interviewing someone doesn’t know just a whole lot about what they are writing about. Hence, the need for the interview. The interview is intended to educate the reporter, who in turn will write an article that (fingers crossed) will educate the readers.

There are reporters who will ignore the mundane and skip straight to the profane for the shock value and popularity of the piece – leaving the educational aspect in the dust with tire tracks on its back. There are those who just won’t “get it.”

While it may not be popular to our counterparts in mainstream, the Land Line staff put together the how-to guide on dealing with the press. Along with our advice, we interviewed Todd Spencer (in-house we even proclaim him the sound-bite machine) and Norita Taylor who is the spokesperson for OOIDA.

The advice is valuable. I can’t implore you enough to read it and take it to heart. You may have the best of intentions, but a misstep can turn a feel-good piece into a hatchet job.

You’ve been warned.