Avoid “No Comment”–What to Say Instead

Without warning, your company can become the center of local, state, national, and in some rare cases international news. Your corporation’s unwanted time in the spotlight could result from:
–embezzlement
–CEO firing or resignation
–burning building
–sexual harassment charges
–huge stock loss
–sale or merger
–customer’s lawsuit
–work site fatality

Frequently these incidents will bring the media to your front door. Even before you can invite newspaper, radio, and TV reporters to a press conference, the “nose-for-news” professionals start bombarding you with questions.

Instantly, you think of similar situations, where you have watched business leaders respond. Quite often, you have heard them answer questions–especially the toughest ones–with “no comment.” So that’s the best way for you to reply. Right?

Wrong, totally wrong. Why? Because “no comment” sounds evasive, deceptive, and suspicious. Seems you must be hiding something. Your credibility begins to evaporate.
billatjoemoss

So if you get into this public crisis situation, avoid “no comment.” Instead, use this approach:

“I understand that you need the answer to your question now, and I would be glad to give it if I could. However, we are exploring the situation, to gather all the facts and confirm their validity before we make a public statement on this issue. As soon as we have the information you want, we will contact you quickly.”

Then there’s one more step to make this comment satisfactory. Do what you promised. Never assume the media reps will forget your pledge. Contact everyone who questioned you, and distribute your documented findings.

As famed broadcaster Paul Harvey might say, that’s “the rest of the story.”

Conclusion: Dodging reporters damages your image. Delaying reporters courteously until you are able to furnish valid facts and explanations not only helps you maintain your reputation, you are likely to elevate your company’s prestige.

Working with the Media During Your Company’s Public Crisis

The video above issues my invitation to work with your organization on site–to prepare you for dealing with the media constructively during your company’s public crisis situation. As you note, I encourage you to call me today, so we can discus when I will come to your organization to provide this vital training.

Call me: 678-316-4300

Also, here are other resources that will help you cooperate with media representatives more productively:

ESSENTIAL STEPS FOR DEALING WITH THE MEDIA DURING A CRISIS

http://ezinearticles.com/?Essential-Steps-for-Dealing-With-the-Media-During-a-Crisis&id=8567756

HOW TO WRITE PRESS RELEASES THAT GET MEDIA ATTENTION
http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/release.htm

BECOME THE IDEAL RADIO OR TV GUEST

http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/tvradioguest.htm

SELF DEFENSE TACTICS OF POLITICAL SPEAKERS
http://www.businessknowhow.com/growth/political.htm

BREAK INTO PRINT WITH LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
http://ezinearticles.com/?Break-Into-Print-With-Letters-to-the-Editor&id=2028721

CNN ANCHOR’S ADVICE ABOUT SPEAKING
http://www.businessknowhow.com/growth/conversational.htm

ENDORSEMENT FOR MY MEDIA TRAINING SEMINAR
Shortly after I directed my seminar–“How to Work with the Media During a Crisis”–participant Margie Asef wrote this:

Bill’s informative seminar provided a rich array of ideas and resources to prepare for media communications during a “never-invited” crisis. I hope I’ll never have to use any of the skill set, but I’m better prepared if I do. Thanks Bill!margieasef
Margie Asef, Community Relations Manager,
Greater Atlanta Christian School

RESPOND WITH YOUR COMMENTS
I will welcome your comments. Click the comments link above the video.

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