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Tricks for getting sources to respond

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I'm working on a NF kid profile for which I must interview several people. One of them was a woman who knows the kid and whose comment on the kid's accomplishment would greatly add to the article. The parent put me in touch with her by email.

In the one email I've gotten from this woman, she sounded willing to help. However, she hasn't yet answered any of my other emails in which I listed the three short questions I need her to answer. In all of my emails, I've been polite, non-demanding, and have offered to interview her over the phone if that would be more convenient for her. I've gone on to say that her answers can be very brief. Last week, I emailed her on Monday and said if I could get the answers by Friday, I'd really appreciate it. Still no response. My next step will probably be to call her, but I think the number I have for her just goes to a voice mail.

I know I will eventually get in touch with her, but since I do a lot of these articles, I thought I'd ask: what tricks do you have to get people to respond? What has and hasn't worked for you?
#1 - August 10, 2014, 11:54 AM
"No furniture is so charming as books."
--Sydney Smith

http://saramatson.com/

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Saying you are working to a deadline (even if it's a self-imposed one) and "...that it would be great if you could send your response by xxx".
#2 - August 10, 2014, 03:21 PM
I've Got a Tail! - Amicus Ink 2020

www.juliemurphybooks.com

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You also might try going back to the parent and having him/her help nudge. Obviously the parent is very invested in seeing the article in print.


Good luck!


Kirsten
#3 - August 11, 2014, 06:39 AM
Kirsten W. Larson
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WOOD, WIRE, WINGS (Calkins Creek, 2020)
CECILIA PAYNE: MAKING OF A STAR (SCIENTIST) (Chronicle, 2021)

kirsten-w-larson.com

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Thanks, Kirsten and JulieM. Good suggestions!
#4 - August 11, 2014, 08:32 AM
"No furniture is so charming as books."
--Sydney Smith

http://saramatson.com/

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