Why PR people don’t like talking to reporters

‘No comment’ is no strategy. Figure out what they need to know, then add what you want them to know.

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To some folks, talking to a reporter is like what Woody Hayes once said about the forward pass: Three things can happen, and two of them are bad.

Hayes, the football coach at Ohio State University from 1951 to 1978, favored running the football. His own offensive philosophy was often called, “three yards and a cloud of dust,” a description he relished.

That seems to be the strategy at many companies’ media relations staff. Many things can go wrong, so don’t say much, if anything.

Maybe we should spend more time on why we don’t want talk to reporters —and why we should.

The reasons why company leaders and their PR reps don’t like talking to reporters are too many to list, but here are a few:

On that last point, keep this in mind: Reporters are sometimes calling after something bad has happened. If it was good news, you’d be calling them.

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