Since I just wrote about Mr. Bretherton's interview, this topic is already on my mind so I thought it would be a good time to explain a few things about setting up these interviews.
For the uninitiated, if you're a national/international magazine like, Time, for example, you have an entire department dedicated to securing interviews for your magazine. When you have the clout of a Time magazine, securing interviews isn't that difficult (most of the time, not all).
When you're an independent magazine that is still going through growing pains, it's a whole other ball of wax. You have no clout whatsoever. You have no connections. You basically have nothing. It would be like if you reading this decided "hey, I want to interview so and so". Okie - so how do you go about doing that?
The internet is a blessing in this case. Information is readily available if you look hard enough. I would say half the battle is finding the RIGHT contact person(s) for said artist. In some cases, you start with their official site or the official site through their record company, television company, etc. If that gets you nowhere, then you have to start looking to PR companies, and anything else related to said artist.
Social media outlets have also been a blessing. Many artists these days keep their own Facebook page, Twitter account, etc. In some cases, you may have success contacting the artist through their FB page for instance. It never hurts to try.
So, let's say you found an email address for an artist. Cool. You type up your email explaining who you are, why you want to interview said artist, and then send it off. In some cases you'll hear back. In most cases, you won't hear anything.
The bigger the artist, the less likely you'll hear anything (not always the case but fairly accurate). These people receive hundreds of emails, appearance requests, interview requests, autograph requests, etc. There isn't enough time in the day to keep up with the correspondence.
This is where the PR or publicist comes into play. Also personal assistants aplenty. I think every person in entertainment has an assistant it seems. But I digress....
So you send another email. And another. And another. In my case, I don't give up but at the same time I want to be respectful - it's a fine line to walk.
Perseverance pays off in some cases. You receive a reply from a PR person who will undoubtedly ask you questions about your publication. In many cases wanting to see a copy of it. When I was putting out my first issue, this was one of my biggest concerns. I had nothing to show. Thankfully someone as awesome as Vienna Teng took a gamble on me. Why, to this day, I really don't know. But I'm sure glad she did.
Back to the matter at hand. You jump through whatever hoops you need to for each person to set up the interview. Again, each person is different. Keep in mind, the correspondence time may be several emails a week - or one a month. This is what drags out the time issue. Sometimes you'll respond back and not hear anything, even after follow ups.
This is where annoyance comes into play.
There have been a few interviews, that I won't name here, that I had given up on. I had tried and tried and didn't get anywhere so I just concentrated on other interviews. And then, out of the blue, I'd receive a reply - in many cases MONTHS later.
Other times, I would do an interview, be excited about it, so then I would go back and see which interviews I had given up - and try them anew. And in a few cases - two recently - this worked for me. It might be a right time, right place thing - who knows?
So, as I blogged about earlier, I have to do a gut check many times when it comes to setting up these interviews and doing the magazine as a whole. I often ask myself just how bad do I want it? I've never been one to quit - so in many cases - I soldier on.
Scheduling interviews is a lot of hard work. Let alone doing the interview! So - when you read an interview in an independent publication, understand that there is a whole behind the scenes aspect that went into landing that interview.
I believe the effort is worth the end result. You the readers are ultimately the judge of that, however. Let me know how I'm doing.