Are you dishonest?
Don’t answer that, because it’s a common
ploy reporters use to trap spokespeople.
You’ll be tempted to address negative words associated with your name or company, but if you don’t know how to answer you will only make matters worse and reinforce the negativity the reporter implied.
If you or your company has done something to harm others, it will be in your best interest to admit that others have been hurt. People want to be heard and know you care. Listen carefully to what a reporter asks of you, respond and add whatever additional quotes and messages you want the journalist to report. Look the journalist in the eye when you answer, but don’t stare or be overpowering.
If the reporter’s questions cause your heart to race, take a slow deep breath and let it out slowly, but don’t sigh. Breathe normally, and keep breathing normally. Listen carefully to questions and be thoughtful in all responses.
5 more communication tips of value for spokespeople by Jeff Ansell
1. Don’t repeat negative words
2. Acknowledge the concerns of the other side
3. Be a good listener
4. Have good eye contact with the interviewer
5. Breathe to stay calm, focused, and in the present moment