Photo by sculder19/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by sculder19/iStock / Getty Images

If you want to know how to deal with a reporter or what to do in a sticky situation, think like one. Just what do reporters want? Ask one. Email your question. We'll answer them. 

  • How do I give good quote? 
    • Answer: Be yourself. Speak in declarative sentences. Say exactly what you mean and then stop. If the situation warrants, be funny. Humor gets you everywhere.
  • How can I become a go-to source for a reporter?
    • This may sounds crazy, but sometimes, the person who gets quoted a lot is the person who answers his or her phone, email, twitter or smoke signal. Remember, when a reporter is on deadline (which is always) he or she needs answers fast. Oh and then be smart. And nice. 
  • I spoke with that reporter for over an hour! How come he used the dumbest thing I said?
    • You said it. If you don't want something quoted, don't say it. Seriously. It's that simple. (But yes, it takes some practice.)
  • What if I'd like to tell the reporter some juicy information off the record?
    • Don't. Not if you can help it. Off-the-record comments should be used very sparingly. If you do go off the record, make sure that you trust the reporter and that the reporter and you have the same understanding of what that means. 
  • What do I do when a reporter keeps pushing me for financial data that I'm not allowed to disclose? 
    • Just say no. But say it nicely and learn to "bridge" to a new topic. We can teach you how to do that. 
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