Never Require Reporters to Read Back Your Quotes | Public Speaking | Presentation Skills

Asking reporters to read back the quotes they pulled from your interview in advance of publication is a huge no!

I understand why someone would want to do this- they may want to get the quotes just right or maybe make sure that the reporter does not make them look stupid. But the problem is that you are now assuming the role of the reporter’s editor, publisher, or their Boss. If they wanted you to be their boss they would come and apply for a job for you so it strikes most reporters as very coercive and someone who does not believe in free press. So it is a great way to make Enemies in the form of reporters.

If that you give you the quotes in advance, chances are they are going to resent you dramatically or they are looking at getting out of journalism all together and are trying to build a relationship with you so you can hire them on your PR staff.

The way you can actually get the quote you want accurately in the spinal story is by actually preparing messages and sound bites in advance. In my experience, the people who are the first ones to demand that the reported read back the quotes to them are the last ones to actually prepare sound bites in advance. If you package your messages with speech patterns, you can get the exact word for word quotes you want 95% of the time in the final story.

Another problem with asking the quotes to be read back to you is if you hear a quote that is accurate and you do not like it you are now trying to tell the reporter that they cannot use something that you said which is true. This is not right for anyone who believes in a free press.

So focus your energies on having good messages and great sound bites and avoid insulting reporters by asking them to read back your quotes.

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