ESPN Lets Janay Rice have Editorial Approval Over Interview | Media Training

Janay Rice, the wife of Ray Rice, was recently interviewed by ESPN, but here’s the twist–she was able to negotiate the right to edit and approve the article before it was published.

Don’t try this at home folks!

The ability to be interviewed and then to read the story and have final approval over quotes is the ultimate dream every one of my clients for the last 30 years has wished for. Unfortunately, it’s a tough deal to get, unless you are dealing with your local weekly ad supplement that nobody reads. But ESPN is obviously huge, so how did this deal get struck?

The wife of NFL wife-beater Ray Rice is someone obviously somebody of great interest to the public. She isn’t a public figure and she doesn’t have to do interviews, unlike politicians and CEOs at publicly traded companies. Apparently, Janay Rice was willing and able to say no to ESPN and all other media outlets unless she got what she wanted. She held all the cards. That is a dominant negotiating position. But it’s also not one most people will ever face. Most candidates, public officials, authors, experts and business executives need to the media in order to communicate with voters/customers. Therefore this strategy is not a viable option for most people most of the time (there are exceptions in certain authoritarian parts of the world).

So that’s why the Janay Rice interview conditions cannot be duplicated by most people faced with the prospect of a coming media interview.

The bigger point, frankly, is that if you have undergone proper media training, there is no need to ask for quote approval. Because if you have gone through decent media training and have created great sound bites in advance of your interview, you will know exactly what quotes will be used by the reporter 95% of the time. That’s what I help my clients do and it is what any competent trainer can do for you.

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