You don’t have to answer every question. If you don’t know the answer, it’s perfectly fine to say so. You may offer to research the information and get back to the reporter if that’s feasible, or refer her or him to another source. If you can’t answer a question, explain why. If it involves employees, your company wouldn’t want to discuss personnel issues publicly. If it involves proprietary company information, relay that. In addition, avoid speculating about what may or may not happen in a particular circumstance or what someone else may think or say.
Keep your answers concise. The likelihood of being quoted increases significantly if your answers are memorable, convey good information and are relatively brief. A long, drawn-out answer doesn’t make a strong sound bite. Clear, compelling quotes are much more likely to be published or aired. And that means success for you.
Lisa Lochridge is the director of public affairs for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association in Maitland. She can be reached at 321-214-5206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.