I am sitting here at El Tovar overlooking the Grand Canyon and checking my e-mail. I guess this tells you what my life is really like! However, I do like to monitor e-mail. Just before I left for my week of “nature” (and a little of the glitz of Las Vegas), Federal Computer Week interviewed me about a recent successful event that was jointly organized by the General Services Administration (GSA) and the American Council for Technology – Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) [read my blog on ACT-IAC for more information on this organization]. I received an email with a link to the article that FCW published. I have mixed reactions and have learned a few lessons.
First of all, let me state that I do not do a lot of press interviews. This was my first major interview in a long time. Second, this interview was arranged by ACT-IAC’s public relations firm, Sage, to increase exposure of ACT-IAC.
Link to article: http://fcw.com/Articles/2011/10/07/Best-practices-for-challenges.aspx?Page=1
THE GOOD: I got a lot of exposure and more quotes than I expected. The statements are accurate and nothing I said was distorted. I am very happy with this level of exposure and appreciate the opportunity to get my name in front of FCW readers.
THE NOT SO GOOD: While there is nothing bad about the article, I do wish it had included more mention of the GSA Challenges and Prizes panel and workshop that we worked as a team. This event attracted 75 Government attendees and boasted 8 panelists who came to share their experiences with Challenges. The discourse was great and the excitement high. None of this came out in the article. While I did discuss it during the interview, FCW chose not to stress that part of it. I think my comments on legal hurdles were somewhat out of proportion. My main theme was that Challenges are a great tool for agencies, Challenge.gov and HowTo.gov are great resources, and GSA is ready to provide expert support to agencies.
WHAT I LEARNED: In any future interviews, I will confirm with interviewer that they have understood some of the major elements. I thought that Sage provided a good summary in their press brief and interview notes, but these did not come through in the article. I will also remember that the reporters remember the tail end of the interview better than the beginning.
I am going to wait for reactions from others, but this seemed like a good topic for a fireside blog from the Grand Canyon. Please let me know what you think by commenting below.
UPDATE… since publishing this post, I have spoken with the PR representative who set up the interview. He explained to me that the article planned the way it came out. They had offered GSA an opportunity to participate, but GSA stated they could not and approved the article to go forward the way it came out. So, I offer an apology to the PR company and writer for my comments. The lessons learned still remain. I will make sure I better understand the conditions around the interview prior to the next one. All said, I did appreciate the great press.
Congrats you are now officially launched.
Hope you are having a wonderfull tims.