Interviewing SMEs: Covering the Bases and Hitting Homers

Jennifer Anthony, Carrie Chambers, Frances Gambino, and Barbara Giammona


Truth or urban legend: Will brownies guarantee a Subject Matter Expert’s time? When you do secure a meeting, how can you make the best use of that time? Here are some SME-handling tips from a seasoned, multi-industry, panel of experts to help you cover the bases and hit home runs in your interactions with SMEs.

It’s a constant in our profession: the sometimes arduous task of collaborating with a Subject Matter Expert (SME) who is busy, elusive, or outright uncooperative. Regardless of the industry in which you work or the type of content that you create, at some point you will face the challenge of drawing out timely and complete information from expert partners in order to complete your project. While you can certainly do a lot of the legwork on your own by digging through reference materials, design documents, marketing plans, and corporate websites, there is no substitute for the expertise or perspective that an SME can provide. In these cases, you will need to coordinate the input of others to deliver accurate, quality results.

We can make light of the challenge by swapping stories of how to win over SMEs with brownies, but the truth is that there is much more to making a successful connection with an SME. In this webinar, you’ll learn from four seasoned experts in the technical communication field about how to deal with the most common problems you may encounter when working with an SME.