3 things you should never say to a reporter

A few things you might see as helpful suggestions may actually come off as combative or just plain confusing.

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Agreeing to an interview with a reporter can be terrifying.

Making casual conversation is one thing, but making casual conversation with someone who’ll write down everything you say and publish it? If your first thought is, “Yikes!” you’re not alone.

Being interviewed by a reporter doesn’t have to be scary. Reporters are just trying to do their jobs. Typically they’re speaking to you because you’re an expert on something; they’re genuinely interested in what you have to say.

There are some general guidelines. It’s often helpful to treat interviews like conversations (albeit ones that are being recorded). Remember to be friendly and polite; reporters are human, after all. They’re often busy and stressed, so a bit of, “Hi, I enjoy reading your work,” never hurts.

It’s also essential to know whom you’re talking to and what you’re talking about. You should receive detailed briefing information from your PR rep, and it’s always good to do some digging into past Tweets and articles.

Although you shouldn’t sweat talking to a reporter, you should avoid these common responses.

1. “It’s on our website.”