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8 Tips for Streamlining SME Interviews and Reviews

A key factor in convincing SMEs to provide input that helps the marketing team generate content is how much of the SME’s time will be taken up. This includes the time spent interviewing SMEs to extract their valuable knowledge—which can be turned into blogs, articles and white papers—as well as SME time reviewing what marketing writes to make sure it’s on target. 

Many SMEs balk at participating in content generation, thinking that these two steps will waste their time. That means marketing needs
to make the interview and content review processes as simple and as efficient as possible.

It’s also important to confirm you are taking marketing pieces in the right direction and to help the SMEs understand what’s being
developed; make them feel as though they are part of the overall marketing process, not just a valuable resource that’s being tapped!

Here are a few other tips to follow:

1.   Communicate why the concept you want to promote is important to prospects and customers and show how it can help the marketing and sales teams sell the expertise of the SME. 

2.  Provide an example of the type of piece you want to produce so the SME can visualize the final output.

3.  Conduct an initial high-level discussion with the SME to review what the piece will entail and create an outline of the

4.  Get the SME’s feedback on the outline to confirm you are on the right path.

5.  Formulate the general questions you want to ask during the main interview for collecting the SME’s thoughts; the SME can then
use the questions to prepare for the interview.

6.  Once the interview is completed and the first draft is created, send it to the SME and follow up with a confirmation to make
sure they received the document.

7.  Clearly state by when you would like feedback.

8.  Then, after you produce a marketing asset based on that feedback, get the SME to approve the final piece.

When the SME responds with feedback, make every effort to incorporate their suggested edits; they are the author behind the piece, so it needs to feel like it came from them. By giving SMEs a reasonable amount of time to review pieces, you will start to build a relationship where they will look forward to working with you again in the future.

Giving Kudos to SMEs

When the piece is finalized and distributed, be sure to give kudos to the SME and let the rest of your organization know just how much they helped in communicating key messages to your prospects and customers. Also suggest to the SME that they start building a portfolio of their pieces.

That portfolio just might help them get better job performance reviews and maybe even bigger raises in the future! And giving your SMEs internal recognition will go a long way towards getting them to actively participate when you need their expertise again.

 If you have questions about streamlining SME interviews and reviews or need help writing about your customer successes, I would be glad to help. Feel free to contact me at