Media Statements Versus A Full-Blown Interview

Ask any good reporter, and they will almost always prefer an interview over a written statement.

But if an interview with a journalist isn’t the best or safest option, Rockford Gray recommends sharing a well-crafted, impactful written media statement.

The statement can help diffuse a negative story, offer your organization’s point of view and reduce the risk of a full-blown interview. At the very least, it will provide some balance to what might be a difficult circumstance.

Unlike when we were in the newsroom, our clients are getting more and more requests from reporters to provide statements rather than taking the time to conduct an interview.

Think of a statement as soundbite that the media can’t cut off or use out of context.

Here are six tips to follow when crafting a media statement:

  1. Keep it short. How short? No more than three concise sentences. The longer the statement, the less likely media will use it. If it’s too long, reporters will edit it and may butcher the main intent.
  2. Send it before deadline. This gives a better chance reporters will use the statement in its entirety and increases the chance it will be used higher up in the story. Statements that show up in a reporter’s email after the story has been written, usually get tacked on the end, if at all.
  3. Make it compelling. A blah statement doesn’t help anyone, and reporters won’t want to use it.
  4. Lean toward a resolution. The media like creating drama but playing into that drama is not usually to your advantage. Take the high road and avoid the “he-said, she-said” drama.
  5. For negative stories, employ pronouns and avoid using your organization’s name.
  6. Get legal sign-off. The last thing you want is to create more controversy or legal headaches.

A well-crafted written media statement often takes thoughtful consideration. There is an art to walking the line between saying too much and saying nothing at all.

Are you weighing whether to provide media with an interview or a statement? We can help, Contact Us.

There’s an art to a good apology; the overriding requirement is that it must be truly authentic. Brett Jordan, Unsplash

It’s apparently apology season. In the last several months, there have been some high-profile apologies, some better than others.

Actors, politicians, athletes, TikTokers and even Weight Watchers have been getting into the apology action lately. The New York Times recently wrote about “Celebrity Apology Video Aesthetic,” noting that rumpled clothes, no make-up and everyday backgrounds are preferred by actors making amends.

I’m more concerned about the words and how they’re delivered. There’s an art to a good apology; the overriding requirement is that it must be truly authentic. Anything less, it comes off as disingenuous. Audiences will see right through it.

While there’s no promise your apology will guarantee forgiveness, we offer some key elements that should be include when making a mea-culpa:

  1. Give a brief account of situation – say what you did
  2. Acknowledge of hurt or damage
  3. Take ownership
  4. Recognize your role
  5. Issue statement of regret – insert “I am sorry” here
  6. Ask for forgiveness
  7. Make a promise to be better next time
  8. Make amends

When someone has been wronged, they expect an apology. But a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology explains how the increase in public apologies might be diminishing the effectiveness and promotion of forgiveness in them. That’s the dilemma: people want an apology but are less willing to accept it.

Still, our suggestion is always to do the right thing. We recommend to our clients who have made mistakes that an apology starts the process for rebuilding trust. We believe it’s simply the right thing to do. And for that, we won’t apologize.

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