Last month, B2B marketing company, Marketri, shared “Why All Your Firm’s Executives Need to be Media Trained.” The article highlights that many high profile interviewees have been known to lose their cool or stumble over their words when in front of the media.
The key to successful media interactions is being prepared, and media training helps. However, no matter how prepared you are, there are times when you will get a question you can’t answer.
Can you say “no comment” to a reporter?
“No comment” is a very strong comment and is often perceived as negative. The reporter and readers or viewers may think you’re trying to hide something.
Having said that, do not feel obligated to respond to a question about something confidential or off-limits. Instead say something like: “As you know, we are in ongoing legal discussions. You asked an important question, however, for legal reasons I cannot presently respond. I’ll be glad to discuss the results with you as soon as we can.”
A big fear of interviewees is being misquoted. You may have prepared a clear message, but the reporter gets it wrong.
How can I prevent reporters from misquoting me?
To avoid being misquoted during a print interview, speak slowly and lead with your conclusion or message. Answer the question in two to three simply constructed sentences, then stop talking.
What do I do if I’m misquoted?
If you were misquoted, you may have spoken too quickly or perhaps your answers were too long-winded. If this happens during an interview, politely correct the reporter without coming across as defensive. You might say something like, “I’m sorry, that’s incorrect. Please allow me to clarify…” and then offer your correction.
While your executives may never face a reporter’s questions, it’s best to be prepared. Look out for another blog post with 7 tips to get the most out of press interviews. What tips do you have for preparing for media interviews? Let us know in the comments below.