Maximize your Media Exposure and Minimize your Risk
  • Have a one sentence message you want to communicate no matter what is asked.

  • Be alert and positive!

  • Keep Calm. Don't let reporters start an argument with you. Look and sound calm and controlled. It's important.

  • Stand still behind the microphone then use comfortable, appropriate gestures.

  • Look the interviewer in the eye. Avoid looking at the ground, sky or the camera.

  • Make your point in 20 seconds or less. Talk in complete sentences.

  • Put your answers into words the public will understand. No jargon.

  • Use examples to clarify your message. Especially ones that improve your position and that of the company.

  • If your story is positive, 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.
  • Never say "No Comment." Whenever possible explain why you can't give the media the information that they are asking for.

  • 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 really no such thing as "off the record."

  • If the story is negative, 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 don't know. I'll find out..."

  • Avoid answering "what if " questions. Instead, respond with something like, "I wouldn't want to speculate on that, however..." and state 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.

Kathleen Hessert
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