As I’ve mentioned recently, magazine and newspaper columnists sometimes conduct interviews via email, especially when they’re simply looking to quote an author or expert.

Sounds like the easiest way to do a media interview, doesn’t it? Well, in theory it is. You don’t have to dress up, put on makeup, head to a studio, or even give your responses right away. For many of you, that makes getting publicity a lot less stressful.

But believe me, it’s tempting to over think and second-guess your responses. For days. But that doesn’t have to happen to you. As a matter of fact, if you follow these 7 steps, a journalist will see you as a trusted source to come back to over and over.


So, here are the 7 things you need to do when that email from a journalist hits your inbox:


  1. Promptly reply to the email saying you appreciate the opportunity to be in his/her article and confirm that you will get your responses back on time.


  1. Give yourself a deadline that is earlier than the one the columnist gave you and aim to have the task completed by then. That way you will get your responses in early and make the journalist’s job easier.


  1. Search for this columnist online and read a few of his/her articles so you’ll know the types of quotes they typically use. This saves you from writing two paragraph answers when the writer usually only uses a line or two. (Two paragraph answers are probably too long anyway unless this is for a feature article entirely focused on you.)


  1. On a separate document (NOT the original email) simply cut and paste the questions and type your answers there. If you use the original email you may mistakenly hit send before you’re done. Not on my watch!


  1. On that document, first write only the bullet points for each of your responses, and then flesh out the answers a bit. This way you ensure that your main points are included.


  1. Take a few minutes to read your answers out loud. Not only is it a great way to make sure the answers sound like you, but it’s easier to spot spelling mistakes when you’re speaking and not just reading silently.


  1. Cut and paste the questions and answers on your email to the columnist and hit send by the deadline you’ve committed to.

Free Gift for You

Sometimes journalists and columnists will contact you out of the blue, asking for a comment or interview. But first they’re going to want to make sure you know 3 crucial pieces of information about you, your message, and your audience. Do you have that information ready to go? If not, get my free PDF Media Success Quick Start Guide: Ready for Publicity in 30 Minutes. Get your guide today – it’s totally free!