As I am reaching out to girls to interview for this project…I have come to realize and accept that I am becoming a stalker in many aspects. I know this sounds creepy, but stay with me.
Getting a general background on a candidate can take me hours of searching and reading, and obtaining contact information on some people can be impossible. To find, research, and contact girls that I believe would be good for my project, I go through a rigorous process that can take me hours just for one candidate.
Here is my process:
- Find a girl who I feel has a story/needs their story to be heard
- Whether it is through Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube, other journalist cites, or any digital outlet of the sorts, I am always looking for girls that I feel would be good for this project. I will google, I will search through Instagram, go through Youtube videos, read articles, and go through any source that is available to me to try and find girls who have stories that need to be shared.
- Do a background check
- I begin to look at how she started out in her field of work. Where did she go to school? Does she have any social media? Youtube videos? What is she passionate about? Getting a background on a person before interviewing them is key. Asking them about certain events in their life can help tell their story, and knowing some basic information about them also makes them realize your legitimacy.
- Getting their contact information
- This has to be the hardest part of my process. This step can take me anywhere from a couple of google searches and about 5 minutes to calling their colleges and high schools to try and get in contact with them. It took me almost three hours to find the email of my most recent candidate for The Girl Narrative, and that is normal for me. This is typically the time where I feel most like a stalker: when I have all of their social media accounts up, am calling their schools to get their contact information, and I am knee-deep in dead ends.
- Emailing candidates
- This email, though does not take me very long to compose, is vital to my chance of interviewing candidates. This is their first impression of me, and I need to make sure that each introduction is tailored to the candidate. For example, if I am contacting a candidate that has done interviews before, I will be able to talk more about my company and my vision. However, if I am contacting someone who has never been interviewed like this, I have to look over both my company and the legal process of an interview.
- The interview
- This is my favorite part. Seeing them, hearing them, listening to them, and writing down their story is my ultimate goal of my project, and it reminds me that all of the stalking, emailing, and calls from different time zones were worth it though I do not LOVE being woken up at 3 am from a call from the UK
So yes…I have become a professional stalker, and it can make me wildly uncomfortable when I am knee-deep in tabs trying to look for an email address or a phone number, but I’ve found that the interviews always, ALWAYS pay off.