About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Obvious Advice - Don’t Turn Down Press
Friday, December 04, 2009

This should really go without saying, but after an incident I had earlier in the week I guess it needs to be reiterated; if you’re an artist, no matter what stage of your career you're in, if someone wants to give you press, make the time for the interview. If you’re one of the highly intelligent artists out there reading this, thinking “man, that’s a no-brainer,” you ain’t gonna believe this sh!t...

As you all know, I get assignments from a number of places. Many are for phone, or the occasional in-person, interview, but some are for email Q&As. As a writer, email Q&As have their own unique set of advantages and drawbacks. The advantages are that there’s no transcribing involved and editing usually ends up a little bit easier because there are less random digressions from the interviewee. The disadvantages include the lack of ability to do a lot of follow up questions, and if you happen to catch an interviewee who thinks one sentence answers are enough you can end up with a very light interview (I’ve actually told artists to beef up their answers or their interviews won’t be run).

For the artist the main advantages of an email interview are that they can do it on their own time (within reason) and they can edit their answers. There’s little chance of a slip up, or of them saying something supremely stupid since they have the opportunity to read everything over before sending it in. The lone disadvantage for the artist is that writing out answers takes a little bit more time than saying them.

This week I was dealing with a handful of email interviews at once. They were all assigned by one of the websites I write for and the artists had agreed to do them. With the questions having been sent out over two weeks ago, and all but one artist getting me their replies, I followed up with the lone straggler. The response I received was fairly unbelievable:

Thanks for the opportunity, but I'm not really interested in being featured on your site. Have a great day!

I will have no problem having a great day because I’ll be assigned a replacement story, but the artist, for seemingly no reason what-so-ever, just turned down press from a very large website. It boggles my mind to see that happen. Answering the email questions would have taken him twenty minutes. I’m guessing at some point during those two plus weeks he had the questions he wasted at least twenty minutes doing something - playing a video game, watching a television show, checking out videos on YouTube - yet he decided he didn’t want to invest those twenty minutes into his career and have an interview that would be featured prominently on a large website and live on forever in the annals of Google and other internet search engines.

I think most every artist understands that any interview is one worth doing. Either it will get you on the newsstands, or give you one more item people can find when they do a search for you online. An interview is an opportunity to spread the word of YOU!

Common sense? I think so, but apparently common sense isn’t quite as common as I had thought.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:45 AM  
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