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10 Tips for Speaking with Reporters

ASPCA, Public Relations

  1. Know your subject matter. If you really don’t know the answer to a question, don’t pretend you do, but offer to find out or refer to another source.
  2. Be yourself.
  3. Be conversational, rather than formal in your approach. Talk in short declarative sentences.
  4. Express passion for your subject.
  5. Tell the truth, and if you can’t comment, let the media know why.
  6. Remember there is no such thing as “off the record”. Don’t say anything you don’t want to see in print or hear on the air.
  7. Be prepared. Have a short comment ready for all of the topics and issues that you should anticipate. Prepare for an interview by have one or two short messages that are most important. Emphasize these points through repetition and comments such as “this is very important.”
  8. Remember you are not only talking to a report your are talking to an audience. Reporters are simply a conduit for information.
  9. Tell stories — use examples — to make your points.
  10. View every interview as an opportunity to get your message out.

© 2001 ASPCA

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