8 ground rules when working with reporters

Hit a pop-fly, and your game is over. But follow these tips, you’ll be rounding the bases like a pro—a PR pro.

Another told me her boss surreptitiously records interviews with the media in case the reporter “screws” him.

I hear those types of stories more often than you’d think, so I’m going to enumerate eight important ground rules you need to know when working with reporters.

1. Don’t go ‘off the record.’

Journalists don’t agree on what the term “off the record” means. One survey found that even journalists working for the same news organization had widely divergent views of what the term actually meant. If journalists themselves can’t agree on the definition, you’re going to get in trouble if you rely on the term to forge an agreement with a reporter. So banish it from your vocabulary entirely.

2. Never say, ‘No comment.’

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