We’ve all heard the saying: two’s company, three’s a crowd. But not when it comes to phone interviews with a reporter. When we arrange interviews for our clients by phone, our standard operating procedure is to arrange a conference call so we are on the phone to listen in on the interview.
New clients sometimes find this odd or uncomfortable. However, you wouldn’t give sworn testimony without a court reporter and witnesses, and most doctors protect themselves by having a nurse in the exam room.
The intention is to add a third party to observe what happens.
There are a few reasons this is a good practice. Having a PR counselor on the line during an interview enables prompt follow up on unresolved questions. If there is a discrepancy, the PR pro can ask for a change based on the transcript of the conversation. It also takes away this uncomfortable job from the executive being interviewed.
Finally, since interviewing is a skill that is perfected with practice, a PR pro who participates in interviews can provide good advice about how the executive can improve in future interviews and can develop messaging around difficult questions.
A software CEO recently confided that since we started participating in phone interviews he was misquoted far less frequently. We don’t know if that’s because there were fewer errors made by the reporter or by the executive. In the end, it doesn’t really matter why. We’re just thrilled with the result.