Don’t Fear The Impromptu Celebrity Interview.
Pop Quiz: You (a travel blogger) are at Burning Man and you see your favorite artist or musician just lounging around. Your really want to interview them, but you aren’t sure you have anything new to bring to the table. What should you do?
(A) Stare at them from 50 feet away hoping they will see you and invite you to hang out.
(B) Convince yourself that you are not worthy of talking to them, because you are just a travel blogger and not a reporter from AOL Travel.
(C) Walk over to them, introduce yourself and who you represent (your blog), and ask them if they have a few minutes to talk.
If you chose C, then you would be correct. Sure, credentials from larger media outlets help, but they aren’t necessary, especially if you are dealing with impromptu interviews as opposed to setting up an interview through a PR agent.
O.K., so you’ve got the interview, now what? I’ve put together a few tips below that will help you make the most of your time.
I still get butterflies before I do an interview.
But trust me once you get past the introduction or first question, then it’s just like any other conversation. The key is to write down a few questions before you go up and ask for the interview. Before I did this interview with Bam Margera and Johnny Knoxville, I sat there (about 50 feet away) on a bar stool racking my brain about what I could ask them. Then, it hit me. Travel. They both traveled a lot for Jackass, so why not just ask them about their favorite places; we are a travel blog, of course. I believe your blog’s niche is your biggest asset. Celebrities do a lot of interviews, usually about the same stuff, so I think its refreshing for them to have something different to talk about.
When I do in-person interviews I always use a digital recorder.
And now that I have an iPod Touch I use that. I highly recommend recording the interview. For me, at least, it’s a lot easier to carry on the conversation when I’m not writing frantically. And since the interviews are with celebrity-types, they won’t even blink if you choose to use one. If you don’t have an iPhone/iPod or a phone that records, you can buy a digital recorder for about $20 from Best Buy or even cheaper if you use a discount code. One advantage to using an iPod/iPhone (WiFi/3g device) compared to a traditional digital recorder is that the interview can be easily backed up to your email.
Though, even if you use a recorder, I still recommend writing down your questions in a notebook and keeping it out during the interview.
This not only helps keep you on track, it will also help if you go blank during the interview. Nothing can kill the flow of an interview like drawing a blank and muttering um…um…um while the interviewee stares at you. I also generally take notes during the interview even if I’m recording it, but I’ve seen other reporters who do not.
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Every interview is different, so you may not get through all your questions and that is alright. Sometimes interviews flow like a conversation and questions you had not thought of surface–use them. Other times, interviews are more cut and dry like a question and answer session. Regardless, pulling off an impromptu celebrity interview is a rush and something I’d love to see more bloggers do in the future.
I’d like to give a shout out to Caz and Craig from Y Travel Blog for inspiring me to write this post. I had thought about this story for a while, but it was not until we spoke recently about their upcoming trip to cover the Byron Bay Blues Festival in Australia for Gap Year Escape that I put down the advice on paper. Thank you!
Have you notched any celebrity interviews into your belt? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below?
*Please remember all photos on this website are copyrighted and property of BeersandBeans.com, NarikosNest.com & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!
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