Shop Talk: Hunting Down Good Sources to Interview

shoptalk copyFinding the right people to talk to for your articles can be a challenge at times, but getting the right sources can make a world of difference in how your final piece comes together. Thankfully, it’s a hurdle that’s easily overcome with some detective work and a little creative thinking. The process begins with the type of article you’re writing, the topic, and your specific angle. Nailing down those three elements makes figuring out the rest a lot easier. Then it’s time to rally the troops and get brainstorming to generate a list of potential sources. Here are some of the more common places to find prime candidates for generating the interview material you’re looking for.

Developers

When you’re writing articles about specific games, franchises, and studios, speaking to someone directly on the dev team can unlock a wellspring of information. Of course, don’t overlook developers as sources for other kinds of articles too. Rounding up comments from representatives from a handful of studios to weigh-in on a pressing industry-related issue that affects them is a great strategy for using developers in articles. For example, say a new console launch either helps or hampers indie development on that particular platform. You might get in touch with a few indie studios to get their take on what this means for their upcoming projects.

Organizations

It seems like there’s an organization out there for just about anything and everything you can imagine these days. That’s a good thing, as it gives you lots of places to dig around for potential sources to interview. Organizations can run the gamut from legit national associations to small loose-knit groups of like minded individuals rallying together under a particular cause. When you’re seeking to interview someone from a given group, it’s often relatively easy to find someone willing to talk to you, particularly if it gives them an opportunity to get their message out and address the issues that are important to their organization. Don’t be afraid to look outside of the video game industry for organizations and groups to approach for comment either.

Noteworthy Individuals

People who publicly set out to achieve unique goals in their personal or professional lives can make for very interesting sources. Did someone break a record? Are they the first person to complete some seemingly insurmountable task or kick off a movement or trend that resonates with the masses? Have they successfully tackled some other fascinating or exciting accomplishment? Did something remarkable or life-changing happen to them? Many people are often interesting in their own right, but individuals who are tied to something bigger than themselves are good folks to base stories around or approach as potential sources for your stories.

Experts

Don’t be fooled. It’s just a fancy title for someone who knows a lot about something. What qualifies someone as an expert, exactly? There’s no hard or fast rule, but anyone who’s substantially experienced in a given field, career, skill, or subject can fall under this category. Whether they’re explicitly billed as an “expert” or not matters little. If they have the knowledge and experience you’re looking for on a given subject, and they’re comfortable talking about it in an authoritative manner, then they could be just the person you want to talk to.

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One thought on “Shop Talk: Hunting Down Good Sources to Interview

  1. What about if you’re trying to get the opinions of ordinary consumers who are in a certain situation (like a particular market) for your story?

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