Friday, August 14, 2009

Mailbag: Why don't News Directors return calls?


I've been looking for a job for awhile and I've noted that when I leave messages for News Directors they never call back. I make it a point not to call when the ad says "No phone calls" but it seems that phrase applies to all jobs. What's the deal?

The deal is that there is simply not enough time. Trust me, people who don't return calls is one of my pet peeves, but in this case you have to let the ND get a pass. Imagine if everyone who applied for a job wanted to talk to you. Do you have time to make 200 phone calls and still do your job?

The other problem is that you can't really answer the person's question. Every caller wants feedback on a tape, and if it's not on the short list, you're not gonna remember it.

Once again... send the tape and fuhgeddaboudit.


Are people still sending VHS tapes?

Yes, though more and more people are using DVDs. The problem with DVDs, and I seem to run into this at least once per week, is that sometimes they simply won't play. The old trusty VHS is usually fine unless the post office has done its baggage handler routine on it.


I seem to have a problem when interviewing politicians. They tend to "hijack" my interview and take it in a different direction instead of answering my original question. Any suggestions?

If you ask a question of a politician and he or she tap dances around it without answering it, ask it again. And again. And again until you get an answer. And if you don't, edit all of your attempts together and show the public that the politician refused to answer.


I've often heard you should send a thank you note after an interview. What exactly do you say?

Well, handwritten is always nice and "old school." Something like this...

Dear ND,

Thank you for your hospitality during my recent visit to your station. I enjoyed meeting you and the staff and am excited about the opportunities there.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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