• Beth Wagner

Communicator's lessons learned

When I was a newspaper reporter, I often was torn between the pressures of my schedule and deadlines and the desire to give my interviewees the time and attention they wanted.

Additionally, there were times interviewees/sources wanted to make sure they were able to convey as much information as possible and get their points of view across (and even convince me of their merits, despite my assertions that I must remain impartial).

When I moved on to the word of communications and PR, I tried to keep those experiences in mind when working with reporters. I'd prepare fact sheets (becoming a huge fan of bullet points, aka, talking points) and provide them via email in advance when appropriate, make sure I was on time for an interview (regardless of what might have been blowing up in my office), and try to be prepared for any curveball questions I might get.

For those who work with reporters, this Harvard Business Review article is a good clip-and-save to help you get off on the right foot when fostering those relationships.

Each of us has a job to do; understanding the other's person's job better helps everyone succeed.

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