It’s always a relief to finish a phone interview but rather than the end of it – that’s when the real work begins. Here is some background to what goes on after a phone interview which is often referred to as a ‘phoner’.
Phoners: Ring your consultant as soon as you hang up.
Don’t delay. Your consultant has worked hard to arrange this interview and their credibility is on the line as much as yours. The next best thing to being there with you is to call your consultant the minute you hang up. Your consultant is a media expert who can gauge, not only how your interview went, but will be alert to any discord or miscommunications that you may not be aware of. Consultants can rectify any miscommunication, but only in the moment – not half an hour later when the journo has already written the piece.
Once the journalist has started writing, it’s akin to arguing with a traffic cop – ‘one they start writing it’s done.’
Don’t assume that just because you have given an interview there is an assurance that the story will run. Nor in the context that you expect. Often what you tell the journalist ‘changes’ when they get back to their desks. Sometimes you simply didn’t say anything media-worthy.
Once you have spoken with your media consultant post-interview, this is where our work begins. It’s an intricate and complicated series of negotiations that your consultant will conduct on your behalf. Sometimes it only takes a minute, conversely this can become protracted and play out for many months, even longer.
Heusler PR consultants have a close relationship with their media contacts. Take advantage of this. Furthermore, journalists expect to hear from HPR, it’s our professional protocol and how we show respect and courtesy to our mutual benefit – they will wait for the call so they can check a fact or a name. No the journalist will not call back to fact check – well sometimes, but don’t bet on it. They are more likely to ditch the story if it becomes too hard in favour of another easier piece. Remember, you are not their only interview today.
It is not unusual for your media consultant to speak with a journalist more than once in the day about separate clients, thus it reflects poorly on you if we haven’t heard from you. The journalist will expect a professional client/consultancy relationship. Journalists are adept at sniffing out any cracks in the protocols.