7 times to turn down a media interview

You shouldn’t take every interview that comes your way. Tell the reporter “no” if you’re in any of these situations.

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The original list comes from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Although it’s a solid list, the tips are overly general. I’ve added commentary to each suggestion to make them more complete.

1. Employees aren’t aware of a specific issue.

As general advice, this is fine. But if a reporter is about to run a story (with or without your input) and you can’t inform employees before it runs, it might make sense to participate in the story to ensure you provide the necessary context.

Plus, what is the “specific issue”? Announcing a new product through the press before you notify employees (e.g. the iPad) might be strategically sound, but announcing layoffs would not be.

2. Employee, client or patient privacy will be breached.

Client confidentiality might be waived if, for example, you’re subpoenaed to testify in a lawsuit or before Congress—especially if the two parties didn’t sign a confidentiality agreement.

3. An emergency occurred, and next of kin haven’t been notified.

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