A list of Do’s and Don’ts for Addressing the Media
- Have a one sentence message you want to communicate no matter what questions are asked
- Be alert and positive
- Keep calm. Do not become ruffled by difficult questions. Look and sound calm and controlled,
- Stand behind the microphone and use comfortable, appropriate gestures
- Look the interviewer in the eye. Avoid looking at the ground, sky, or camera.
- Make your point in 20 seconds or less. Speak in complete sentences.
- Put your answers into words the public will understand, avoid using jargon.
- Use examples to clarify your message. Especially one that improve your position and that of the company.
- Offer information you want the public to know, even if the reporter doesn’t ask.
- Be cooperative, however, know what you should and shouldn’t say.
- When being interviewed, do it without company logos within the camera view.
- Never say “No Comment.” Whenever possible explain why you can’t give them information.
- Don’t let a reporter put words in your mouth; correct misstatements before you answer any questions.
- Don’t say or do anything you don’t want reported. There’s no such thing as “off the record.”
- Don’t give unnecessary information that may be detrimental. Answer only the questions you’re asked.
- Don’t speculate or talk about anything outside your area of expertise or known facts. It’s OK to say, “I’m not sure” or “I’ll find out.”
- Avoid answering “what if” questions. Instead, respond with something like, “I wouldn’t want to speculate on that, however…” and insert your positive message.
- Don’t fill in silent pauses. Say what you have to say, and stop!
- Don’t keep talking as you’re walking away. Stop talking before you walk.