The Perils of Telephone Interviews

In my continuing efforts to get my book out there, I sent a press release to the local Jewish newspaper. It is the only newspaper that offers local news for the Jewish Community. I was pleasantly pleased when a staff writer contacted me.

It is great publicity and reached many people who are not on any of my social media. Check it out —

A few days after I had sent the press release, the journalist called me while I was riding in the back of a friends’ car. I discovered, however, the limitations of this type of interview. It is not as effective as a face to face one. To begin with, the timing was a surprise and caught me off guard. Also, I had no opportunity to build some preliminary rapport and could not judge the reporter’s reactions to my answers.  That made it difficult for me to formulate proper responses to some of his questions.

I learned that it is important to speak clearly, and in short sentences, because the journalist also had difficulty figuring out when a sentence was finished and what I was trying to say.  In an interview, unlike any writing material, there is no need to try to be brief.  It is important instead to take the time in describing the arc of the book and getting the message across about what makes this book an interesting read.  It also became clear to me that there are certain basic questions to which I needed to prepare a patent response, such as what the book is about and why I decided to write a book.

While the finished article includes some unfortunate errors , this well-meaning, kind reporter took the time to help me. As I thought about it, it is still great publicity and for that I am grateful.


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