Seeing your name in a newspaper, magazine or online publication’s article can be a great accomplishment. That appearance might bring you new patients. It might give you name recognition. It might even make you the expert on that topic in your town. But that article could be harmful to your reputation – and your practice – if your quote or information is inaccurate or misleading.
In the 11 years I’ve been doing interviews for television, radio, newspapers, magazines, podcasts and online publications, I’ve had physicians and people who work in almost every field ask me how I get so many interviews. While most of those other experts, like attorneys, financial planners, real estate agents, and accountants, seek out media interviews to grow their businesses and practices, many physicians resist doing them out of concern of being misquoted or taken out of context. In fact, over the years, I have heard this concern from physicians more than experts in all other fields combined.
Fortunately, there are some key strategies you can use to eliminate or significantly decrease this risk.
When considering the possibility of being misquoted, we are generally talking about print or online articles. Radio or TV interviews are usually done live, and everyone can hear exactly what you say. Podcast interviews also convey exactly what you say to the listener, but at least these interviews are pre-recorded. You might be able to ask the host to cut out the words or statement you mistakenly said.
With print or online articles where they are asking to interview you for quotes, opinions or information about a topic, a reporter or writer might email you questions or ask to set up a time to talk by phone or video chat.
Email interviews, in which the writer sends you 4 to 7 questions and you reply with your answers, are easiest to ensure you aren’t misquoted. You type your answers and send them directly to the journalist. It’s hard for that writer to get your words wrong or use them out of context. Many reporters will copy and paste your answers directly into the article. Doing interviews in this way requires more effort on your part than talking by phone or video chat, but it might be the best way to ensure your information is accurate. Plus, many journalists will insist you respond by email because they are on a tight deadline.
One nice aspect of talking to the reporter is that you can more thoroughly explain a complex topic and give examples. If he or she doesn’t understand something you say, you can clarify.
Fortunately, when talking by phone or video chat, most journalists will ask you if they can record the interview. This is always a good idea. In my experience, writers are far more likely to misquote you if they are frantically writing or typing what you say. With a recording, they can go back and make sure they get quotes word-for-word.
Nonetheless, it’s still possible that a reporter, journalist, or writer will mistakenly quote you inaccurately or use your words out of context, even if he or she did not intentionally do it.
The good news is that every expert can avoid being misquoted or taken out of context by using six strategies.
If you want to learn more…if you want more customers, more clients, more patients, you want to make more money, you want to be recognized as THE expert in your industry, or you even want people you don’t even know to come up to you at the gym or in the grocery store, thanking you for helping them, I can help you become a Media PRO.
Go to MediaProsCoaching.com and sign up for a FREE 30-minute media strategy session with me. We will see where you are and what you’re trying to achieve in your business, and then plan some strategies for you to get more media interviews and appearances to achieve all those goals and far more.
While you’re there, pick up my FREE eBook – The Media PROS Interview Checklist, offering you a handy reference full of tips to shine in your next media interview or appearance so they keep asking you back, over and over.