With so many blogs and publications in circulation it is almost inevitable that at some point you are going to be approached and asked for an interview. Being mentioned in the press is a great way to build a reputation, only few appear ready to deal with journalists. Having spent the past dozen or so years interviewing people for blogs, trade press and broadsheets what follows are some tips and advice that should help you respond to requests for interviews and raise your profile.
Journalists are not your submissives.
A journalist or blogger who approaches you isn’t your submissive. Their objective is to capture information that will feed into a story they are writing, not experience your style of domination first hand. This is particularly true if the journalist isn’t from within The Scene. When approached you should be polite, accommodating and tolerant, even if the answer is “no”.
Know the story.
Behind every approach from the media is an agenda and you need to know what it is. Ask questions about what the focus for the story is, where it will be published and whether you’ll get to see it before it is published. Once you know where it is going check the publication, read a few articles and make sure it is in line with what you’re expecting. You do not have to accept every interview request, particularly if your words will appear somewhere that’s out of line with your beliefs.
Have an opinion.
Journalists want a story to come alive, which is why they’ve come to you. Having an opinion on a topic, even if it is unpopular, makes it more likely that you will be quoted. That said, you need to ensure that whatever opinion you offer is one you genuinely hold and that you’re willing to live with the consequences of saying it.
As a dominant your reputation rests on the discretion you offer to your clients and submissives. Naming names, even indirectly, or discussing particular scenes will harm that reputation. If you need to illustrate a point speak in generalities not specifics and beware of being drawn into discussions that could expose your client base.
Don’t expect to be paid.
Unless you just dominated the Prime Minister and are doing a “kiss and tell” do not expect to receive any compensation. Those who “demand” a fee to be interviewed not only are frequently disappointed, they also get known as people not to approach. Journalists and bloggers do talk to each other.
Journalists and bloggers are stretched. They have deadlines to meet and a demand for a constant stream of new material. If you can prove yourself to be someone who is accessible, insightful and willing to do some of the work for them you will find yourself in the media regularly. Being proactive, offering up ideas that they can run with, can further cement this relationship if handled with care.
Have photos ready.
A picture says a thousand words, and journalists and bloggers often need them to accompany the pieces they write. Invest some time and energy in getting some good quality photographs that you can supply to accompany any piece that gets written. Again this plays to you helping the journalist out.
(and a bio)
A biography only needs to be 3 or 4 sentences, but each one has to be something that can be printed on its own. If you have this ready for the journalist it will help give a context to any quotes they use and give you the opportunity to influence how you are represented.
Work the publicity.
Having your name in print on another site or in a print publication is worth its weight in gold in building your reputation. Blog about it, retweet the articles you’re in, link to the online version of the article, mention it on your homepage. Do everything you can to promote the fact someone else has seen you as a person whose opinion is worth hearing.
Above all: don’t be naive.
“I’ve been quoted out of context” is the oft heard cry of those who are naive. Once you’ve said your piece it falls to the journalist and the editor to decide how your words will be represented. Although a blatant misquote can be corrected the damage is usually already done. If possible see a draft of the piece before it is submitted and always prepare a follow-up to include on your own blog that expands what you’ve said.
If you work with members of the press (be they professional journalists or hobbyist bloggers) you will have an amazing opportunity to raise your profile and open previously closed doors. All I ask you to do is remember that they are often working to a deadline and usually need help rather than attitude.
You can also read the follow-up article about photography and the press.