Here are two more techniques for handling media interviews.
Lead the reporter on.
Simply add a phrase at the end of a response, leading the reporter to the next, obvious question. For example:
“That’s not all.”
“Here’s how this might play out.”
“There is much more to this story.”
The reporter typically will ask for more information. “Tell me more.” “Can you give an example?” And then you’re on your way, presenting your messages.
Redirect the question.
Here you start with a verbal stop to shield yourself from an unwanted question. Examples of verbal stops are:
Then make your point, possibly explaining why you can’t answer the original question.
No technique works all the time, but these techniques can help you through a challenging interview and raise your chances for success.
Some material for this article came from the article “Sneak Peeks and Deflections: How they Can Raise Your Spokespeople’s Performance,” by Ed Barks (Public Relations Tactics, November 2012).