Blame it on the holiday weekend, or DMG’s goal to rid every client of all the bad habits, but this week’s B² (block and bridge) is less issue-specific and more best practice.
Few things in life are guaranteed like responding “no comment” in a media interview and writing your on-the-record statement.
Because so many have used it and abused it. “No comment” doesn’t mean “no comment,” or at least no one thinks it does. Instead, the phrase is an undeniable WARNING that you are guilty or clueless. Either you did it, you know who did it, you legally can’t share information that confirms that accusation, or you have no idea what the reporter is talking about.
Happens to the best of us. So what’s the right way to answer a question you absolutely don’t want to answer and not make headlines?
Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.
Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:
Q: “<Insert probing/accusatory question you don’t want to answer>.”
B²: “Here’s how I’d put it – <rephrase the question> <insert talking point>.”
Wherever you take the conversation next, know that you have options. It’s ok to refuse the interview if you fear the reporter asking you questions you don’t want to/can’t answer. You can also rephrase the question. Your goal should always be to control the interview, and that goal doesn’t change if you’re asked a “gotcha” question. Be mindful of the reporter or host and his/her angle, then decide if the interview is beneficial to your organization, cause, or candidate. If not, politely refuse. If so, proceed with a B² in your back pocket.
But whatever you do, don’t say “no comment.”