When it’s time to turn down that press interview

PR Tips
April 7, 2016
by Conor McMahon

It might seem crazy turning down a media interview, but there are times when it makes sense to say no to a live mic.

Most of the time a press interview will only improve your company’s reputation. Even in times of crisis, it’s better to brief your spokespeople and approach the media.

Here are the rare occasions when it’s smarter to turn down that press interview:

In an accident

If an emergency has occurred and the next of kin hasn’t been notified, you probably shouldn’t use the media to announce details of a severely injured or deceased employee.

Don’t confirm any information until you have contacted their family. If the media is going to run the story anyway, notify the family.

Job losses on the horizon

The same goes for if your company is about to lay off dozens of employees. The media is not the best place to tell people they might lose their jobs.

Employees should be notified before information is made public or else you could potentially create a PR crisis.

Sorry, it’s exclusive

If you have arranged an exclusive interview with one media outlet, don’t schedule one with another journalist.

You want to build a rapport with your press contacts so they have to trust that you won’t share the story anywhere else.

Legal affairs

This is always a tricky one. If your company is embroiled in a legal dispute, your lawyer will likely advise that you avoid all communications.

You don’t want to commit contempt of court or land yourself in further trouble, so maybe issue a general press release to say that your company is confident your side will win.

Learn how to master a live mic at our Media Training for Expert Sources event. Book here.

MediaHQ.com is Ireland’s largest and most dynamic media intelligence company, with over 7,500 journalists listed on our database. Since we started in 2009, we have helped Ireland’s best known brands connect over 113,000 stories with the media.

Conor – @conormcmahon