An Open Letter to People Whose Stories Land Features

Dear Featured Personality,

Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for an upcoming feature story to showcase your accomplishments, or those of your brand.

As a matter of record, this is a feature news story or profile, not a promotional piece for you. So there is a limit to what I can do to “make you look good.” I can, however, offer some basic advice in advance that should help now and in the future. monitor-1280219_640

To that end, here are 7 basic tips for a flawless experience as an expert source. It’s important to me that we share the same set of expectations so we can ensure a quality experience, and I hope you find these useful.

1. Please, if you don’t want it printed, don’t say it in the interview. Instead, prepare talking points in advance and refer back to those if you get flustered.

2. Let me ask questions. A good interview is a conversation, not a dictation.

3. Be yourself, and speak from the heart. Personality is a plus.

4. Speak slowly. I type and think as you talk, and I don’t want to miss anything.

5. In journalistic writing, fact checks are a courtesy, not a right. So any courtesy fact checks will be done by phone only if there is a specific question not covered in my notes.

6. Photos will probably be needed. You’ll want to offer my publisher a high resolution jpg, not less than 600 dpi. If you don’t have a current photo you love, take time to have one professionally taken which represents the real you, and tell the photographer you want the digital files in a format suitable for print OR online use.

7. Provide the writer with your compelling but brief bio. Grab this one-sheet profile how-to that shows how to create yours, Quick! Your Expert Profile Download.

I’m super excited about interviewing you and cannot wait for our call! My assistant will be in touch to set an appointment for us to talk.

My very best,
Sherri

Content is currency. Increase yours. Sherri L. McLendon, MA, is a marketing public relations consultant, conscious business coach, and lead content strategist with Professional Moneta International, Weaverville, N.C. Reach her by email at sherri@sherrimclendon.com

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