Never say no comment

As my knowledge advances in the world of PR, there is one thing that sticks out…

NEVER SAY NO COMMENT.”

Going with this theme, I thought I would write my entry dedicated to the TOP THREE THINGS that should be avoided during media interviews.

1. Don’t ignore a question or respond with “NO COMMENT.”

By responding with no comment, the audience will believe you are hiding something from them. If you find yourself not being able to answer the question, simply answer what you can and promise to follow up later. Although the audience might still question what your saying, at least you are offering an alternative.
If a reporter or someone from the media is asking for a comment on a rumour, be it true or false, simply be up front or say something non committing, something that you won’t be quoted on later.

2. Don’t rely on corporate sounding messages.

During an interview you should always be promoting your company or brand and trying to slide in as many key messages as you can but, the trick is to make them heart felt. This way, you can reach a wider audience. Sometimes to conquer this, a corporation needs to choose a spokesperson, someone who has the ability to speak, and speak well.
Although many organizations opt to have their CEO deliver a message, it is well advised to make sure either the CEO is tested and can deliver the message no problem OR the organization has a designated spokesperson to offer an insight to the problem. But, I believe that when a company is dealing with a huge crisis, the CEO should be the face presented to the public then, the public trusts that the company is doing everything it can and that they are not hiding anything.

3. Don’t lose your temper.

There have been sometimes when I’m in a professional situation and I just want to voice my opinion, but the only way it will come out is me…losing my temper so, mastering this is CRUCIAL. It may seem easy, you may think, “okay yeah, I am on TV why would I lose my temper and make my brand look bad,” but when the situation arises, it’s a whole other story.
The interviewee needs to find a balance between being calm and showing energy and passion. A question may arises during an interview that you are not ready to answer, or puts your company in a bad light. Instead of avoiding the question, which may result in you losing your temper, simply stick to your key messages when in doubt. Just give concise, straight –to-the-point answers. By doing this, you won’t lose control in an interview or give an inaccurate statement.

Okay so, it’s a given that one time somewhere, we will all screw up. We won’t stick to the key messages or we might say no comment even when we know we shouldn’t. But, at least there are a few ways to avoid messing up in an interview with the media.

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Read more don’ts when dealing with the media:
http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/14_nonos_to_avoid_during_media_interviews_13694.aspx#