Four ways to mine gold from your subject matter experts

Interviewing authorities on particular topics can be tricky, whether they be terse or verbose. Try these tactics to tap the motherlode for your audience.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

To write remarkable content, you need two things: a great writer and someone who knows the ins and outs of your industry.

The catch is, it’s not often that you find one person who can fill both roles. So, whom do you choose to produce your content—the writer who has a way with words but no technical experience, or the technical expert whose writing is bland or, worse, utterly unreadable?

Fortunately, you have another choice: using your technical experts as subject matter experts (SMEs) to inform and guide your writers. For this option, you or a writer would conduct an interview with an SME to get the details of the topic and then use that information to write a well-informed piece of content.

That often introduces another challenge: getting exactly the information you need from your SME (versus the information they want to give you). Though he or she probably has a wealth of information, it’s not always easy to get what you’re looking for.

To start, go into the interview prepared. Though your SME might be a primary source of information, a basic understanding of the topic will help you ask intelligent questions. Imagine going into an interview for a blog post on protecting your computer network from ransomware-when you don’t have a clue what ransomware is.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.