January 2009: Talking to editors about microfinance

Sam and Robyn role-play a call to an editorial writer about microfinance.

Note: When calling remember to introduce yourself, ask if they have a minute to talk, and if they say yes, ask a question, to which their answer will be “no,” such as, “Are you familiar with the once-in-a-decade announcement that the Microcredit Summit will make January 26? If they say no, then ask if you call tell them about it briefly.

Sam: Hello, may I please speak with “Sally Smith” on the editorial desk?

Robyn: You have reached the desk of Sally Smith. Please leave a message after the tone.

Sam: Hello. My name is Sam Daley-Harris, and I’m calling about a once-in-a-decade announcement from the Microcredit Summit Campaign and an opportunity to be on a conference call with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus where the announcement will be made. Please call me at 555–2123, that’s 555–2123.

Robyn: This is Sally Smith. I’m calling for Sam Daley-Harris.

Sam: This is Sam. Thanks for calling me back. I was wondering if you are familiar with the once-in-a-decade announcement that the Microcredit Summit will make on January 26?

Robyn: No, I’m not.

Sam: Well, can I tell you about it briefly?

Robyn: Go ahead.

Sam: Thanks. On January 26, the Microcredit Summit Campaign will announce that, as of 2007, more than 100 million of the world’s poorest people had a microloan. This was a goal set by the Microcredit Summit in 1997, when fewer than 8 million people around the world received a microloan. While the rest of the world is in financial turmoil, this is a bit of great financial news. The announcement is embargoed until January 26, but there will be a major media push that day including Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. Would you be interested in getting a packet for editorial writers and possibly being on a conference call with Muhammad Yunus the morning of the 26th? I think readers would find it a refreshing break from the bad financial news.

Robyn: It sounds interesting; can you tell me a little more about how microcredit has made a difference for these people?

Sam: Well, are you familiar with the story of how Grameen Bank started?

Robyn: I don’t think so.

Sam: [Tells the Grameen story 2 cents a day]

Robyn: That does sound interesting. Tell you what, send me that information. We’re definitely interested.

Sam: I could e-mail it, or could I bring it over and talk with you for a few minutes?

Robyn: Sure, anytime after my 3:00 pm deadline is fine.

Sam: Thanks for your time.

Robyn: Thanks for the tip!