Has a writer or journalist ever asked you for an interview about your industry or your business?
During seven years that I've been a writer, I've interviewed many business people for articles that are underway. And in that time, I've encountered more than a few business people who are committed to botching their interview for reasons that I can only guess.
Perhaps they hate free publicity. Maybe being viewed as an industry expert is offensive to them. Or perhaps they have too much business and are looking for ways to discourage future customers.
If you're one of these people and you're asked to provide an interview, following methods are almost guaranteed to work. Provided your goal is to botch interview, that is.
1. Opt Out, Then Complain Refuse to give interview or simply avoid returning writer's phone calls. Afterwards, be sure to write letters to editor, publisher and anyone else who will listen. Condemn writer for getting facts wrong or for not giving full mention of your business and your products. Where do they get off writing about your competitors instead of yourself? Demand an apology and bemoan lousy state of journalism. Throw term paparazzi around.
2. It's On Web Site Let writer know that everything she needs to know is on your web site. Hang up.
Be annoyed when article mentions your company briefly but includes plenty of good quotes from your competition. Editors won't pay for articles containing only information that has been copied off web sites. Funny thing, but readers still want to see quotes from real live humans.
3. Demand to Edit Article Be outraged when writer refuses. Don't believe it when he tells you that almost all editors will refuse to work with a writer who allows interview subjects to re-write articles. You can't see any problem with this even if most editors do consider it unethical.