Ask the PR Pro: Why did the reporter only use part of my interview?

You did a great job answering the questions, telling your story and directing the interview, but the reporter only quoted you in a small section of the overall story. This can be disappointing and leave your wondering why your hour-long interview resulted in just one quote.

First, it’s important to recognize that this is not unusual. Chances are that no one interviewed for the story received more coverage.

So, why do reporters use just a portion of interviews? To explain, we’ll use a food analogy. There are three main reasons:

  • The reporter was “full” and didn’t have room for more quotes in the final article. Along the same lines, the editor may have assigned a longer article and then had to cut the story for space.
  • The reporter was trying to achieve a “balance of flavors” and needed a different perspective to achieve that. Unless you are the sole focus of the story, your comments are the seasoning not the entree.
  • The reporter didn’t want it to appear that someone else was picking up the tab. It’s important for reporters to be as balanced as possible, and that includes not showing favoritism. Many publications require different perspective in articles.

The good news is that being included as one of several sources in an article places you in the company of other experts and shows that your comments are important enough to be included in the article.

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