At some point in your PR adventure, you’re going to encounter a “difficult” question.
Perhaps it’s a question that’s potentially contentious, for instance, one that pits you against a competitor.
It could be a question to which you don’t know the answer.
Or it could be a question whose answer is confidential.
How do you respond to those challenging questions from journalists? The hackneyed response, “No comment,” is overused and essentially useless. It raises more questions than it answers and makes the reporter (and his audience) suspicious of you.
As an alternative, I’d like to share with you a media interview tactic inspired from… football.
It’s called block-tackle-recover.
It’s a strategy that will buy yourself some time so you can collect your thoughts, redirect the interview to your key points, and help you deliver your key messages without totally ignoring or avoiding the reporter’s question.
Below, I describe each step and give concrete examples of what you could say to a reporter. The assumption here is that you’ve prepared for your interview by having your key main messages prior to the interview.