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Southwest Airlines Blog Boy Interviewed on NPR

Aviator C

It started with an e-mail in my mailbox.  It was from Stacey Vanek-Smith, a reporter at National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” program, and she wanted to interview me for a story about “traditional” companies using social media.  Stacey had worked with my former Coworker, Paula Berg, and since I am not only the old man in the office here but also the “ancient blogger” with four years of experience in the blogosphere, I became Paula’s stand in.

Although I have spoken at some conferences before about our social media efforts, I am a total neophyte when it comes to broadcast interviews, especially when you look at the other folks on our Communications Team.  Brad and Paul are both former “anchormen,” and many of the others are regularly interviewed on camera and on "the record."  The last time I was on air was wayyy back in college and never on a national network, so needless to say, I was a bit nervous.

Shomial, the audio technician arrived a little before lunch, and we set up the interview in my office.  She had a small boom mike, and she was recording my voice while I listened to the questions from Stacey over the phone.  It sounds complicated, but it wasn't.  After 30 minutes of questions about all aspects of our social media efforts, the interview was over.  Besides the blog, we talked about our use of Twitter and Facebook.  Stacey sent me the information about the air date, and I let all my friends know about my date with audio stardom. 

Here in Dallas, Marketplace airs on KERA FM Radio at 6:30 pm, so like folks did back before television, my wife and I sat down to eat our dinner while listening to my interview.  I don't know what Shomial or the other technicians did, but this was the only time I haven't cringed and run for cover while listening to my recorded voice.   In case you would like to listen for yourself, the folks at Marketplace gave us permission to use the interview on our blog, and Steve Heaser included it in this week's Red Belly Radio podcast at the lower right of our home page or click here to listen.  If you would like to read a transcript of the show then click here.  (If you are reading the transcript, they gave credit for my first lines to Shel Holtz.  I was the one who said, "It's like my head is spinning, cause I mean, I didn't even know what a blog was five years ago."  I'm sure Shel was already knee-deep into the blogosphere at that point, so he would have known what a blog is. Next, I guess I am going to have to worry about who gets top-billing.

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