8 reasons to avoid off-the-record conversations

There are times when speaking on background is useful; however, a popular website cleverly dodged such constraints, underscoring why PR folks need to exercise caution.

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However, I’ve moderated my stance over the past few years and no longer dispense that advice. There are times when going off the record (or on background) can be useful for spokespersons, even if doing so occasionally comes with significant risks (here are five rules for going off the record or on background).

Recently, I saw another reason why going off the record can be a bad idea, and wanted to present the “don’t go off the record” side of the argument to you.

The website BuzzFeed attended a political conference that featured top-level Obama and Romney political consultants. The conference was supposed to be off the record until an “embargo” period passed, but take a look at how BuzzFeed got around that problem:

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