Busted: 5 myths PR pros have about the media

It’s time to debunk a few myths—like never say ‘no comment’ and all reporters are liberals.

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Where do the unwritten rules of PR that surface again and again, but often have no factual basis, come from?

Here are some of the greatest myths of media relations and the truth behind them.

1. Never say ‘no comment’

This myth might hold true most of the time, but years ago I worked on a major acquisition for a client that proved this myth wrong. It was a hush-hush, cloak-and-dagger ordeal with late-night calls from halfway around the world. The media got wind of it and called the CEO, who turned the call over to me.

I was young at the time and fully believed the prevailing wisdom that you should never say “no comment.” The CEO was firm. He screamed at me to tell them “no comment.” I explained that the cardinal rule of PR is that saying you don’t have a comment creates enmity with the media and allows them to tell their own story. We should at least put together a noncommittal response, I urged.

The CEO bellowed from halfway around the world: “Nothing I do is noncommittal. The world will respect us more for not talking now, and then telling the full story at a time and place of our convenience.”

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