Neal Augenstein

TIP: My first interview question

In Uncategorized on May 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm

“Do you own or have access to an iPhone, iPad, or iPodTouch?”

That’s one of the first questions I now ask in setting-up a phone interview. In almost all cases, the answer is yes.

Most public information and public relations professionals are surprised to hear there are several ways the Apple products can make a newsmaker’s answers sound studio-quality, rather than inferior phone-quality.

I explain the iPhone, iPad, or iTouch essentially replaces a tape recorder.

While the newsmaker hears and answers my questions on a landline or other cellphone, they simultaneously record their answers on the iOs device.

At the end, they email or otherwise share the raw interview, which I edit for air or online posting.

I instruct them to hold the device 6-8 inches from their mouth.

On an iPhone, the microphone is directly to the left of the charging port on the bottom of the phone.

On an iPad, the microphone is a small hole along the top edge of the device.

An iPodTouch requires a plug-in microphone.

With an iPhone, the simplest way to accomplish this is with the built-in VoiceMemo app.

iPad and iTouch don’t have VoiceMemo, so I walk them through setting up a free SoundCloud account, and how to download the free app. UPDATE: For a short interview, the Voice Recorder HDapp ($1.99) is even easier and more intuitive, for iPad and iTouch.

If the public relations pro balks at the “inconvenience,” I remind this will help their client communicate as clearly as possible. If it’s still too much of a bother, I pass on the interview.

Every newsmaker I’ve ever talked through the process has been delighted with the results, and is now equipped to use the technique in future interviews.

Simple, easy, effective.

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