Earlier this week we looked at why quotes are important in journalism. Today we’ll be continuing with this idea and focusing on how to obtain quotes from industry professionals. It’s actually very simple and a lot less difficult than you might initially think.
First you need to determine what you’re looking to get from someone. If you don’t have a rough idea of what you need then how is someone supposed to deliver any quotes that suit your article?
Now this doesn’t mean you need to provide an extremely specific outline to the person your interviewing or getting a quote from, doing that is a bad idea. You need to know what aspect of the article you’d like a quote for. This then allows you to approach someone and request a quote about this thing. For example, you might ask one developer for a quote relating their opinion on something specific such as microtransactions in a game and another developer for their thoughts on how their community is responding to microtransactions.
While you could have overlapping quotes, it’s a good idea to get a variety which you can use to support the entire article instead of just one small piece of it.
How to get quotes
Once you’ve decided who you’re going to ask for quotes, you need to send them a polite email. It needs to detail the following:
- What your article is
- The topic you need a quote for
- Where the article will be published (First you need to write a pitch to approach and editor with)
Don’t expect to always get a response from a developer, publisher or person of interest. Most will simply be too busy to reply right away or be willing to provide a smaller journalist with a quote. This won’t always work but I find it works often enough and smaller developers or those less famous will be willing to spend some time crafting a quote for you. It’s possible to also obtain quotes from short interviews but that’s a topic for another day.