I was contacted over the weekend by several friends, associates and strangers because a reporter quoted me as an expert in the Washington Post.
For those who aren't from the Washington Metropolitan area, the
Washington Post is a widely circulated paper in Washington DC, suburban
Maryland and Northern Virginia, and across the country. If you think
you've heard of the Washington Post, you probably have. The Post is not
the most famous paper in the United States. (The USA Today or
New York Times perhaps have that honor.) But the Washington Post is
probably one of the most famous papers in America. The Post has a daily
circulation of around 700,000 and a Sunday circulation of about a
million. The Washington Post online claims to have 18 million readers
per month, but I think that number sounds a bit inflated.
But whether there are 18 million or not, I'm quite certain there are
a lot of readers of the Washington Post. Now only a fraction of those
readers pay any attention at all to the Real Estate section of the
paper, but the good news for me is that I only need to talk to the ones
who pay attention to the Real Estate section.
A week to 10 days ago, I was contacted by a reporter from the Post
and was interviewed about condos and the condo market in Northern
Virginia. We talked for about 20 minutes or so, and from that
conversation, the reporter selected one tiny quote: "The new builders are trying to overcome the lack of space by building a high ceiling, as if that is going to kid somebody."
I stand by that quote, but if I could pick one quote to be known
for, that probably wouldn't be my pick. I'm not a stranger to this sort
of thing though. A few months ago, my wife (president of Condominium Mortgage)
and I were interviewed by Channel 9 News. They probably asked us 20 to
30 questions and then pulled out 30 to 50 seconds of tape to frame the
story they were pushing.
Tom Meyer of Condo 1 says that I'm a publicity hound. This isn't entirely correct. I do make myself known, through formats such as Active Rain and Trulia. But I don't seek out reporters. They find me.
But his comment and my poorly phrased quote above forced me to reflect on a simple question. Is there a such thing as bad publicity?
My guess is probably not. But still, I think I'd rather have good
publicity when possible. So now that I've had a little practice, the
next time the Washington Post or Channel 9 or any other news outlet
comes calling, I am going to choose my words very very carefully.
Then my neurotic inner voice says, "But you want to be a good interview to keep them coming back for more ..."