It’s the stuff of nightmares for PR pros.
The interview is going along fine when—wham!—the interviewer asks about an issue you’d hoped to avoid. There’s no turning back without it looking as if you are evading the question.
The solution to this common catastrophe is called bridging.
You think you are at an impasse, but all you need is a “bridge,” a transition that takes you from the reporter’s question to an answer that works for you. When used successfully, it is an essential part of a spokesperson’s rhetorical toolbox.
Here are some examples of scenarios where this tool can help you out of a tight corner:
1. The reporter is serving as a tour guide.
Interviewees are often too eager to please the journalist and create a favorable impression. They simply follow along, stopping at the destination points the journalist considers important. That works out fine if those stops are ones your spokesperson also hoped to visit. However, important points can fail to make the itinerary.
Solution: Stay on message.