PHILADELPHIA (February 24, 2016)– Marc Brownstein offers tips on how to handle press inquiries in a recent issue of The Philadelphia Inquirer’s PivotPoint Feature.
Q: A reporter from our local paper just called me and said they want to do a story about my business. I’m excited about the prospect of publicity, but I’m also a little nervous. What if they ask a question I’m not comfortable answering? How much do I have to tell them about things like my finances or hiring practices? Any strategies for keeping some information off-limits without looking bad?
“The first thing I would do is thank the reporter for calling and set up a call/meeting time,” said Brownstein. “Then use that time to compose your thoughts and develop a message that best reflects your point of view and positions you and your business in an intelligent way. You’d be amazed how easy it is to fall into a relaxed phone call mode and say something to the reporter that you later regret.
Only provide answers that will help the reporter with the story AND not embarrass you and/or your business. If, for example, you feel that revealing your finances could hurt the image of your company, then give a revenue range as opposed to specifics.
If you are uncomfortable with a line of questioning, speak to the reporter about industry trends, rather than your own company. If the reporter continues to pursue questions that are troubling, you are under no obligation to answer every question. Always be in control of your message.”