How Not to Outsmart Reporters

Links of the Day:

– A column in Ragan’s PR Daily struck me as extremely disrespectful to the public. It’s about how to handle a press conference when you’re in the hot seat.

The writer suggests giving as little information as possible so reporters use up a fixed amount of time getting the basic facts and not asking tough questions.


“Here’s where most people go wrong.

They come out, and they tell the reporters all the basics. The reporters then use their time asking all sorts of tough follow-ups. Even if you limit the time to just five minutes, you can be assured that all five minutes will be filled with challenging questions.

Instead, imagine what would happen if you came out, offered a very brief opening statement that intentionally omitted key information, limited the time to five minutes, and opened the floor to questions. The reporters would be forced to ask you to fill in those blanks—they can’t file a story without them. That would allow you to spend most of your five minutes answering straightforward “who, what, when, where, why, and how” questions instead of dealing with the nasty follow-ups.”

Here’s where the PR people go wrong. If you time-limit a press conference and don’t allow reporters to ask the tough questions, we will shout them out as you’re leaving the podium. We will report, “Mr. Smith refused to take any questions on XYZ.” Or we will report, “ Mr. Smith limited questions to five minutes, so we weren’t able to ask him about XYZ.”

– Jurors have the right to say no. An op-ed in the New York Times says a man was arrested for telling potential jurors about jury nullification on their way into court.

– Headline writers have been having a field day with Kodak’s possible bankruptcy. Bring on the puns!

– There might be hope for little brown bats, as healthy colonies have been discovered.


2 responses to “How Not to Outsmart Reporters

  1. I have heard that the quickest way to get excluded from being a juror in the first place is to ask the DA what nullification is?45

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