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Hardly a pro and suffering from years of isolation, I delivered an impromptu lecture on importance of literacy in a democratic society (a surefire topic for poor guy's audience) and forgot to mention my book. When story ran, I had my first experience of being misquoted.
My entire lecture was boiled down to a single remark, *If you can't read, you shouldn't be allowed to vote.* (SF Examiner Magazine, April 12, 1998).
To avoid a similar fate, prepare your soundbites well. Have reporter read your quotes back to you so you can correct any inaccuracies. Realize though, that if you're not pleased with what you've said, reporter is under no obligation to let you try again. Though if you can think of something well worth quoting that sounds better they will be inclined to use clearer, sassier quote. Verifying your quotes will help reporters resist temptation to condense what you say while trying to keep spirit intact. The New York Times is one of few publications whose editorial and style and usage manual dictates that its reporters not doctor a quote.
4. Request your contact information be included.
Be very clear on how you would like to be identified and contacted. Give reporter correct spelling of your name, title, business, phone number, URL and any other relevant information. Ask for what you want. Think about what will bring you maximum clients, exposure, whatever it is you desire and ask to list those things first. If it's best for your 800# or website request they be included.
5. Invite reporter to call you back with any additional questions.
Once a reporter gets back to his desk he may find that he forgot something he wished he had asked-but may not want to seem unprofessional or negligent and so might prefer to leave something out rather than keep it in error. Another reporter may be one sandwich short of a picnic, or brand new and not know ropes. To cover all types of reporters ask if you may call reporter back in event that you think of something you'd like to add. This is a great way to insure accuracy and save face. And to maintain control over and shape your own story. Happy interviewing!
Learn how to handle 4 most difficult types of interviewers in *Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul* (HarperCollins). Need to prepare for a meeting, promotion, presentation, job or media interview? Go to http://www.prsecrets.com
Copyright (c) 2002-2005 Susan Harrow, All Rights Reserved.
Susan Harrow, CEO of PRSecrets.com and BookedOnOprah.com, is a top media coach, marketing strategist and author of *Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul* (HarperCollins), *The Ultimate Guide to Getting Booked on Oprah*, and *How You Can Get a 6-Figure Book Advance.* Clients include CEOs, bestselling authors and entrepreneurs who have appeared on Oprah,60 Minutes,NPR,and in TIME, USA Today,Parade, People,O,NY Times,WSJ,and Inc.