Interviews help people express concepts, describe services and share information.

Writers & SMEs

Writers interview and write.

Subject matter experts (SMEs) inform, respond and review.

What makes sense to an expert may not be clear to a general audience.

An expert in procurement might not be the best person to write about procurement, but a writer who interviews a procurement expert is.

When to interview

Interviewing isn't an ongoing activity.

Conduct interviews at the start of a content project.

Writers interview before writing or rewriting to prepare and fact check a first draft.

Interview questions

When interviewing, ask

  • Who is the audience? Who owns, approves and maintains the content?
  • What problem does this content solve? What service is it about?
  • Where is the audience? Where can the services be found? Where should it be published?
  • When should this content appear? When will it be removed? (See content lifecycle)
  • Why does this content need to exist?
  • How does this content help people?

The answers to these questions help writers explain topics accurately and capture important information for readers.


SMEs are not approvers.

They should be given one opportunity to review a first draft, but this is only to fact check.

Only editors approve content for publication.

Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web is the strategy for content.