WhatsApp with you?

WhatsApp with you?

When we started contacting journalists through WhatsApp it felt new, now it’s common… and so is sending audio files through the app for use on radio news bulletins.

WhatsApp has become the ‘go to’ for newsrooms across the BBC and commercial sector to gather soundbites for their 6am bulletins. With a news-y story, especially with case studies, you’re likely to get lots of requests for people to send audio this way on the day before the embargo breaks. 

If you’re working with spokespeople or case studies who haven’t used WhatsApp, here’s a super quick guide you can copy and paste. Get their permission to send their number first – and obviously give them a heads up on who’s contacting them.

  • Install WhatsApp on your phone: https://www.whatsapp.com/download/
  • Make sure notifications are turned ‘on’
  • Journalists will send you their questions through WhatsApp, either as audio files (which you hear by pressing the play button) or as a written list
  • To record your answers, look for the microphone button to the right of where you type messages – don’t press it yet
  • DON’T do this: press and hold the mic button, record your answer, and release it (this will automatically send your audio)
  • INSTEAD: press and hold the button, slide it up – this will lock the recording – then begin recording your answer in your own time.
  • If you’re happy: press the ‘send’ button (it looks like a ‘play’ button where the microphone was)
  • If you’re NOT happy and want to re-record your answer, you’ll see a cancel button
  • After you’ve sent the audio files, you can still help us by: 1. Telling the journo if there’s a gap from the start of the recordings before you speak; 2. Thanking them for running the story and asking when you can hear yourself on air; and 3. Sending that info onto us

Thank you. You’re now a WhatsApp pro.