So, you've already read part one? You're well on your way to producing an ace piece of content marketing for your website, magazine or newsletter.
Let's crack on with the next instalment...
The 'Big Six'
Using the ‘Big Six’ in your questions – who, why, where, when, how and why – encourages deeper responses compared to closed questions such as: ‘Are you happy with what you've achieved this year?’
That's likely to get a yes or no answer, forcing you to prompt for more information. Knowing how to frame questions enrichens an interview.
Although you're writing for business, your content can still be emotive. After all, people like to feel a connection with someone else’s experiences. Ask your interviewee about their opinion on an event or latest industry news to bring a story to life. By creating content with depth, you'll get readers coming back for more in the future. And that's brilliant for boosting website traffic.
Avoid sticky situations
You're not reporting on celebrity scandal, so reporting on rumours is a no-no. Your business content should inform and engage your customers, not titillate and provoke.
Journalists learn to avoid defamation in their training – take a leaf out of their notebook and watch out for anything that's potentially sensitive and unproven claims.
Make it snappy!
If you're interviewing someone in a rush (let's say at an industry event) keep your questions short and to the point. When you're preparing, focus on what you absolutely must get out of your interviews. Then plan accordingly.
Some journalists use shorthand to take interview notes, so out of necessity they need to translate their shorthand into full copy while it's still fresh in their minds.
To most other people, shorthand is a dark art – we don't dabble. But it's still wise to write up your notes into clearer English before you forget details. Leave it too late, and you could miss out on that striking quote or entertaining anecdote.
Need help? I've interviewed celebrities and CEOs.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.