Thanks to the reach of the Internet and U.S. 1’s E-mail newsletter, a source who might not otherwise have seen our article mentioning her has responded to a story in our June 14 issue. That’s right, June 14. As they say in baseball, they might also say for the Internet: Speed is a great thing — it slows everything down.
Our source, Vidhya Srinivasan, was the subject of a Survival Guide story titled “For Women Going Back to Work, But Not to the Rat Race.”
In an E-mail, Srinivasan, a human resources professional speaking at a seminar at the Princeton YWCA, thanked us for the article, but questioned some of the particulars: “I appreciate the content, but would like to point out a few errors: I do not think it is essential to give out any personal information like my spouse’s name and his occupation. It has no relevance to the article.”
And, she continued, “I did not mention the websites — knockemdead.com, womenwork.org, and womenforhire.com.”
Our response: For all our story subjects, we try to identify the basic elements of their personal lives as well as their business lives. People like to do business with people they know, we believe. And a piece of advice from, say, a 50-year-old who has raised three kids ought to be weighed with a certain grain of salt; the same advice from a 25-year-old who still lives in his or her first apartment might deserve a different grain.
And while we ask, for modest articles like a Survival Guide item, we don’t usually push. If the interview subject doesn’t answer, we can’t print it.
And what about our reporter referring to those websites? That’s another reality of public relations. Unlike an ad, where you buy the space and control the content, cooperating with a reporter makes you a participant in his story, not yours. In this case, our reporter felt that the websites would be additional useful resources for the readers, who are — after all — our real customers. Richard K. Rein has more thoughts on why we do what we do in his column that appears on page 51.