When you read your favorite online newspaper, and watch or listen to the news, do you wonder how the people interviewed were selected? It’s usually a combination of things but the main reason is that the source is credible and is willing to be interviewed. The source is not unusual. A smiling goat is an unusual source!

When considering if you want to approach the media for an interview, below are items to ask about being a credible source:

  • Knowledge: What do you have to say that is fresh, creative and unique? Don’t be outlandish but you do need to offer insight that isn’t being reported elsewhere.
  • Approachability: Do you come across as someone who is approachable? It doesn’t matter if its print, electronic, broadcast or radio, make sure that what you have to say is congruent with the tone of your voice, the way you speak and how you stand. Be yourself and always remain professional.
  • Purpose: What is the purpose of being interviewed? Obviously, it is to help promote your business, cause or passion but what do you want as an outcome? As a source, you need to understand that the reporter is working to serve her readers, viewers and listeners. How can you help the reporter tell a better story?
  • Homework: Understand why you are approaching a specific media outlet. You must do your homework first before you pro-actively approach a reporter. Become familiar with what the reporters has written, the focus of the medium and tailor your message accordingly.
A smiling goat would most likely make headlines in many media outlets but it’s a one-time story. You need to understand why you are a good source for the media outlet you have targeted. You don’t want to be forgettable. You never know when the story you’re interviewed for is competing against the smiling goat!

Did you like this blog? Please leave a comment or send an email to annmarie@ammcommunications.com.

Best regards,


Founded in 2008, St. Louis-based AMM Communications LLC is an integrated public relations and marketing firm that provides public relations, marketing, crisis communication, social media and sales management training for small- and mid-cap financial institutions, professional service firms and manufacturing companies. For more information, please navigate to www.ammcommunications.com or call 314.485.4390.

4 thoughts on “Smiling goats don't make good news sources

  1. Hi Russ,Thanks for the feedback. You have given me another idea for a blog. You do approach the mainstream media the same way as you would any reporter or editor from a community newspaper to a national broadcast. Do your homework to understand what that specific outlet is about and understand how you can be a source that can help that reporter / editor do a better job of reporting.Have a great day!Best regards,AMM

  2. Great stuff Ann — I would love to hear more about how to actually get into contact with the mainstream media — they seem to be insulated from us for the most part.

  3. Great piece. Certainly a challenge for most company owners – to figure out an effective strategy to work with mainstream media. That said, certainly the job and budget cuts must mean that they need great info sources to cost-effectively leverage.

  4. Kevin, Thanks for the feedback! You are right about media outlets being challenged with cutbacks but this in no way should compromise the quality of sources. In fact, what I'm experiencing is that reporters are becoming more selective with sources because space and airtime are a premium. They need the right person the first time!Best regards,AMM

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