Frequently Asked Questions
Why shouldn’t I say “no comment”?
When newsmakers say “no comment,” it gives the impression they are guilty. It’s better to use a whole sentence that gives the reason why you can’t talk. For instance, “I wish I could tell you my side of the story. Unfortunately, my attorneys have told me I better keep my mouth shut on this topic.”
If something bad happens at my organization, should I wait for the media to come to me first?
If it’s a true catastrophe, the media might be at your door before you know what the problem is. If it’s an explosion, fire or deadly accident, police and fire scanners will tip off the media. If it’s a financial scandal, someone on the inside of your organization may have alerted a reporter. If you’re proactive in going to the media, it makes you look responsible, ethical and anxious to clear up any problems.
What if a reporter misquotes me?
You have several courses of action. First, ask for an apology, correction or retraction. Be able to document that you’ve been misquoted, with your own audio cassette of the interview, or some other method. Don’t threaten to sue the journalist until you have more information. It could’ve been a simple misunderstanding. Reporters are human and they do make mistakes.
Is there really such a thing as “off the record”?
If you drop a huge bombshell, the journalist will use every method to corroborate your story with another source. Please be aware there are unethical journalists who will disregard the “off the record” agreement to further their own careers, so make sure you trust the reporter in whom you confide.
Help! I’m going to be on a video teleconference. What should I wear?
A video teleconference is much like being on TV. Solid, dark colors are better with minimal jewelry. Avoid reds if you’re worried about looking heavy. Make sure your hair is smooth and that any facial shine is powdered or wiped off with a hankie.
If you have a question about dealing with the media or looking your best on video, contact Lorri Allen for a free media audit. Or, check back here routinely for new FAQ’s.
Also, check out some of Lorri’s articles.