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  • Writer's pictureHannah Duncan

How to get quoted by journalists

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Want to sharpen your panel speaking skills? Attending talks, logging into webinars and plugging into podcasts are ideal places for financial journalists like me to discover new hooks. Here are eight things you can do to stand out from the crowd, and get quoted by journalists . 👇👇

1. Tell me something I can't find online 🕵️‍♀️

This is what I'm looking for, it's the hook. Give me something. It can be an original point of view. It can be an in-house statistic that hasn't been published. A personal experience. And I'd love it if you can say it in as few words as possible.

2. Finish your sentences. Don't trail off. 🙄

Think about this... I'm writing every single word you're saying. I've got ink or pencil lead all over my hand, and my fingers are beginning to hurt from the rapid strain. I'm doing my best to focus on your exact words and their meaning at the same time. It's so annoying when you decide not to finish the sentence before starting another. I mean, come on. Sort it out. How can I use that?! I don't mind if you say "UMMM" or "UHHH" or stutter a bit. To be honest, I'm grateful for the break. But don't stop and start. Super annoying.

3. Keep it succinct ⚡

Short and sweet makes you look a ZILLION times more competent than rambling dialogue. If you can say it in five words or less, that's a contender for the title. If your point takes up more than 100 words, it's probably not going to work out - I have a word count to meet.

4. Speak clearly and slow down 🦥

Be confident. If I have to struggle to pick out your words, I probably won't use them in case I accidentally misquote you.

5. Make it memorable 🤩

A strong image. A joke. A metaphor I wasn't expecting. That's what stands you apart from the rest.

6. Don't interrupt 😡

It makes you look really rude and makes me like you less. Especially if you interrupted what was about to be an absolutely banging quote.

7. Be taggable on social media 🤳

Putting your voice at the front and centre of an article meant that I didn't give that privilege to someone else. Part of the deal back is that I kind of expect you to like and share my work. Be taggable and available for follow-up questions. Oh and if I call you an expert... don't undermine me. It devalues the whole article and makes us both look silly. Be gracious.

8. Avoid getting your PR person to give your answers 🙄

There's no nice way to say this ... Most of the time, PR quotes are quite sh**. It's normally basic stuff that I could google myself and often extremely self-promotional. If I'm reaching out to you -especially about a niche area of finance - it's because I want to talk to an EXPERT. Normally if I get rubbish PR answers, I never ask that company for a quote again. ... Which is sort of ironic, right?

Bonus tip... Make it easy for us

I'm quite lucky with my clients, but often journalists will have really tight deadlines. They'll be working into the night, fact-checking and cross-referencing your words. So making it easier pays dividends. If you reference a statistic, say where you found it. If you disagree with someone, politely state it.

If you can save us time, we're probably going to love you for it.

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1 Comment

Martin Quinn
Martin Quinn
Oct 26, 2021

All top tips to follow Hannah, and the last one do understand exactly what you write and care about, what floats your ⛵

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