8 responses to “Dear WordCount: Is it OK to conduct interviews via email?”

  1. Susan Johnston

    Michelle: Great advice, as usual! I think it’s worth noting that some editors want you to mention in the article if you’re getting quotes via email or phone. (For instance, “Jane Smith said via email …”) I will sometimes use email as a last resort if the source can’t squeeze in a phone interview because of their schedule or a tight deadline. With CEOs, you worry that the quotes have been vetted or possibly written by the PR person, but with other sources (say a mid-list book author or a local doctor), that’s unlikely.

    Also, I had the interview scheduling challenge when I worked full time and freelanced on the side (honestly, it’s still sometimes a challenge to coordinate schedules when a source has extremely limited availability). One workaround I used when writing for national publications was to look for sources in a different time zone. I’m in Boston so if I was interviewing an author in California, I could be home at 6pm and talk to them when it’s 3pm their time and still during normal business hours.

  2. Tia Bach

    Great article. I’ve done several interviews or meetings via Skype and it’s a wonderful tool. As a former journalist, I agree that in-person is better (particularly the idea of who is really answering, the “spin”). But I will sometimes do a follow up via email or clarification.

    I’m just kicking my freelance writing career back into play after a long break (for my lovely children), so reading articles like this help get me back in the groove.

    (And reading your blog in general, Michelle).

    Thanks!

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