Getting an interview with an industry leader or celebrity in your field can help drive a ton of traffic to your site, not just through search engines, but general
social bookmarking buzz.
Email, don't call
Industry experts and celebrities are busy folks, always doing something. If you call at a particularly bad moment, you're likely to have the door shut in your face. Send them an email instead, with "request for interview" in the subject line.
"What's in it for me"
Bearing in mind their time restrictions, make your introduction brief - who you are, who your site caters to. If there's something specific about your site that you feel the person may be particularly interested in, such as good traffic levels, a product or service of theirs you are actively promoting, make mention of that - anything that will appeal to their WIIFM (What's In It For Me) trigger.
Be uber-polite, but not to the point of groveling. Unless you're a journalist with the New York Times or have a high-ranking, massive traffic site; bear in mind it's the interviewee doing you a big favor, not the other way around.
Don't give a deadline of just a couple of days. The person you're approaching may be very busy - plan a couple of weeks ahead and be prepared that it may be months before you'll be able to get in their ear
Ask simple, clear questions. By this I don't mean yes or no answers, but questions that are open enough to be answered briefly or at length. Be concise in your questions in that the interviewee doesn't need to waste time trying to understand what it is you are actually asking.
Send all your questions the first time. If you've been fortunate enough to grab the person's attention, don't think that gives you license to keep asking questions with the expectation of an answer. Give your questions a ton of thought, because there may be no opportunity for follow up.
If you do get a response, be sure to thank the interviewee. Follow up with the person when the interview is published with the URL. I deal with a lot of mainstream press journalists who'll ask me questions, I'll respond and then hear nothing back until a reader says "I saw the article mentioning you in X last week". Again, journalists from big circulation publications can get away with that sort of thing; the rest of us need to be especially courteous :)
If the interview takes the form of a blog or forum post; let the interviewee know that there may be responses from your readers that he/she may wish to monitor and respond to.
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