Submitted by katiehollar
When training attorneys or other professionals to work with the media, I always stress one takeaway: Do not ever do an interview on the fly.
Whenever possible, take the "Stop, Drop and Roll" approach:
Let's say your phone rings, and it's a reporter. And for some reason you didn't look at your caller ID, and you pick up.
"Hi, Jane Doe, this is Lois Lane at the Daily Planet. I was hoping to ask you some questions about [major deal, major transaction, business trend, your recent indictment]."
STOP. Do not engage at this point. Don't go in cold. Even if it's a benign call, even if it's to discuss good news. Yes, the interview opportunity is valuable, and you want to capitalize. Yes, the reporter may be on deadline. But it will be a far better result for you - and the reporter - if you take the time to prepare.
How to respond: "Lois, thank you so much for calling. I am in the middle of something right now. Can we talk in an hour or so? Also - I'd like to make sure I give you the best possible information. Is there anything specific you'd like me to be prepared to address? What's your deadline?"