Friday, September 28, 2012

Don’t Say Thank You To The Media

Many of the authors I have worked with have asked about sending thank you notes to members of the news media who interviewed them. I always suggest that this would be a mistake.

In order for the news media to see those that they interview on an equal footing, a thank you note is the last thing they should receive. It takes two to create an article or an interview. Shouldn’t the media send us a thank you note for sending them a great guest? No, it doesn’t work that way. We are partners with the media to inform and enlighten the public. The media outlet serves its readers, listeners or viewers and we serve our clients. Everyone is happy for it. The media should be just as thankful for arranging the interview as you are to them for having you interviewed.

Then again, there are many publicists and authors out there and only a certain amount of meaningful or influential media exists, so one could say that authors and publicists need the media more than the media needs them. But the media has a job to do and without great guests or publicists helping them find such guests, the media would be challenged to do its job.

Rather than getting a ‘thank you’ note, I would suggest that the media receive a note that says it was great to have the opportunity to discuss blah blah and to share insight on your topic. You may see this as the same as a ‘thank you’ except the difference is the attitude expressed. Saying ‘thank you’ is to acknowledge someone did you a favor, which is what you don’t want to acknowledge here. But highlighting that you valued the chat and expressing your availability for contributing to future segments or articles is appropriate.

Most shows won’t have someone back on so soon, in part because they like to keep things fresh and in part because it is not likely you will have anything new to say or promote.  Some of the bigger publications have internal policies against using the same source or article subject until a certain time frame passes.  But sometimes you can appear on another part of a show or in another section of the publication. For instance, having your book reviewed in a newspaper would not preclude you from being interviewed by the features editor or from your byline article running in the publication.

So, even though you are thankful for the opportunity to get media coverage with a media outlet, never say thank you. You can thank me later for the tip.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. Copyrighted 2012 by Brian Feinblum.

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