1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

How to get these guys to understand

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by CarltonBanks, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. CarltonBanks

    CarltonBanks New Member

    Covering an NHRA race and know a lot of the drivers from my previous career. When seeking quotes, more than one of them said "Heck, I'm in a hurry. You know what I want to say. You can say things better than I can anyway" or something to that extent. I used to do PR for these guys and was very comfortable making up their quotes for them. Now that I am at a paper this is no longer an option. As I told them I couldn't do that anymore, they would be off to the pits to get ready for the next round (they only have a certain amount of time between runs). I just went without quotes from some of the key drivers, and the story wasn't very good. Does anyone else have this happen with a coach or athlete, and how do you handle it?
  2. never ask, "Hey, do you have a second?"

    just ask a question

    if they say they're in a hurry, just ask a question

    don't give 'em a chance to say they're in a hurry
  3. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    It used to happen to me a lot. I worked in Oklahoma, and I had a coach who'd give me a mishmash of crap and then say, "Clean that up for me so I don't sound like the hick we all know I am."

    You have to just go without their stuff until they get the message. If their PR guy is on top of things, he'll get them on board.
  4. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Well, I would first try to catch them at another time, when they aren't rushed, and politely explain WHY you need this when you do. Chances are, they have no concept of deadlines and wonder "Why can't this guy wait until I'm done?"

    If they continue to give you garbage quotes, run it once. Not the nicest thing, I know, but it will get them to think twice about what they say.

    Finally, if they persist in not wanting to talk and the PR guy has no luck with them, either, well, life goes on. There are athletes in every sport who are that way. Sure, it makes reporters' jobs more difficult. You eventually find someone who IS a good quote.

    Good luck.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Carlton, if you used to do PR for these guys you should never be allowed to cover them for a newspaper.
  6. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    ESPN, maybe . . .
  7. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    "If I were you, I'd just make up the quotes."
    - Jayson Blair.
  8. RedSmithClone

    RedSmithClone Active Member

    Why the sarcasm font?
  9. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    That's actually some great advice for a lot of situations apart from this one. Write that one down.
  10. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    Sure he should. To say no implies that someone can't take one hat off and put another on.
  11. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Sometimes an interesting question, something they haven't been asked before, is a great way to get people to make time for you.
  12. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    There it is, in black-and-white -- the reason reporters should never use canned quotes if they can possibly help it.

    Not to mention, the reason why I would probably never be able to work in PR.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page