I’ve been receiving a number of interview requests this year, and if you don’t already know, I do accept most of them (in fact, just about all of them). I’ve done interviews with an SMU undergrad (whom I had to teach a thing or two about camera angles, how to pose questions, etc) and accepted interview requests from polytechnic students. So, why am I rejecting the NTU Masters’ Programme candidates?
We are conducting an academic research project as part of our masters’ programme at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, Nanyang Technological University.
The aim of the project is to assess the social media landscape in Singapore.
We are writing to you as working with grace is one of Singapore’s top blogs and your insights will be extremely valuable to not just this project, but in shaping the way organizations engage social media influencers like yourself in the future.
The study is strictly for academic purpose and your identity will be kept confidential in our submissions.
The face-to-face interview will not take up more than an hour; below are some of the questions that we’ll be asking.
- How do you decide on the content to post on the different social media platforms?
- How do you determine if a topic is worthy of writing or sharing?
- If an organisation were interested in engaging you to be their social media commentator or to write an endorsement piece for them, what would be your consideration?
Could you please let us know if you would be able to participate in the interview by Thu, 31 Oct 2013?
The interview will be conducted between Fri 1 Nov and Mon 4 Nov, at a date/time convenient for you.
Alternatively, an email interview is also available.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Priyanka, Elizabeth, Rachael & Truda (PERT)
Why I’m Saying No:
- They call themselves “PERT”, which could mean “impudently bold, saucy“. For a formal interview request, I’d rather they not do this acronym thing with their names.
- Secondly, I read the email twice and found no answer to the question “WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?” These ladies are telling me that this interview will be “strictly for academic purpose” and “(my) identity will be kept confidential”. So, WHY I would want to spend an hour of my time with them and help THEM with THEIR project/homework? What sort of blogger has so much time to spare?
- And they seem to know nothing at all about me or my blog, beyond that superficial comment that my blog is “one of Singapore’s top blogs”. I would have been DELIGHTED if they had managed to reference one or two blogposts they found exceptionally insightful or if they had read my book and loved it. Do they even read my blogposts???
- It seems like they are sending out a template email, to more than one blogger. What gave me that impression is how the name of my blog is in bold letters (“working with grace”) which is usually an indication to the email sender to change this field before blasting the email to the next potential interviewee. [2 of my blogger friends confirmed that they received the exact same email]
- They obviously have not read my book ‘Blogging For A Living’ or they would have been taught how to send interview requests. In the book, I share how I secured the interview with Peter Buffett (via email) without paying him, though my trainer friends had paid a 5-figure sum to interview Peter’s ex-wife.
- The deadline specified (for responding to them) is also a turn-off. ” Could you please let us know if you would be able to participate in the interview by Thu, 31 Oct 2013?” You send me an email today and EXPECT a reply by tomorrow? What if I have so many emails to clear that I don’t read your email till the day after tomorrow? These ladies apparently care more about themselves and their project, than me and my time. They can at least also pretend to be concerned that the interview would take up time I can’t spare, and I would have said YES to their request! 😉
How I Would Have Written That Email Request:
We came across your blog WorkingWithGrace.wordpress.com and your book ‘Blogging For A Living’ and are very impressed by how you made your blog one of Singapore’s top blogs! We love that interview you did with Peter Buffett and got inspired by your interviews with other millionaires, celebrities and entrepreneurs.
We would be very honored if you could share with us some insights to be incorporated into our research project for the masters’ programme at Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, Nanyang Technological University.
We know that as a full-time blogger, you are very busy, but we would be really grateful if you could spare us an hour or two of your time. Please let us buy you lunch if you would be willing to come by our campus for the interview, and send you a copy of our research findings with other leading social media influencers after we conclude our study.
Would you prefer a face-to-face or email interview?
We look forward to your favorable reply.
Priyanka, Elizabeth, Rachael & Truda
This, ladies, is how you ask for an interview and increase your chances of securing it (even IF you are sending this email to many people!) P/s: You don’t even have to buy my book. Though… if you had mentioned that you’d like me to come by to autograph it for you, I’d be more than happy to do the interview, and autograph the book. 😀 *wink wink*
*Update*: The PERT ladies reply… and why I think they STILL don’t get it.
*Final update*: For the Masters’ or PhD people or whoever you are, if you’d like to leave a comment saying that I SHOULDN’T publish the PERT ladies’ names, please don’t be silly. How else would you know what PERT means, and how silly it is for them to make this PERT acronym from their names? And it is after all, only their first names, not their full names, without their photos, and not linked to their LinkedIn profiles or whatever. [I could so definitely find their pictures or profiles online if I REALLY wanted to (quote) “name and shame” them. I didn’t publish their email address too (if you’ve realized).