Why one PR pro turned down an interview request from Brian Williams

This is a success story—with four tips to help you achieve a similar outcome. 

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A producer from “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” called me during last week’s Carnival Triumph fiasco to speak with my client, Jay Herring, who is a former senior officer with Carnival Cruise Lines and author of the book “The Truth About Cruise Ships.”

I turned down the interview.

Before you cry professional maleficence, allow me to explain. The client was already booked—in fact, he had already appeared on a number of shows across a variety of major networks including CBS, ABC, CNN, Fox, and CTV Canada. He also conducted radio and print interviews for a number of top-tier publications.

The bottom line: When Williams’ producer called, it was too late.

Positioning a client as the expert

The cruise industry has dozens, if not hundreds, of experts who all could have done a perfectly competent job explaining what was happening. Although the different media outlets covered the story in different ways, they all turned to the same expert, Jay Herring. He became the expert on the topic.

As a result of the interviews, his book became an overnight bestseller on Amazon.com. He will be able to leverage this media coverage for the rest of his life.

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