PR pros: When not to talk to the media

Silence is golden, especially when you don’t have a crisis plan or when talking about a crisis will just make it worse.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Imagine you’re having a casual evening at home, enjoying cocktails and a documentary you’ve wanted a long time to see. Suddenly, the phone rings. It’s the vice president of your company, who sighs and asks you to turn on the news.

Your company’s president is involved in a major scandal, one that’s breaking at this very moment. You gather everyone at the office to discuss what to do next.

One of the most pressing questions is whether to talk to the media. So far, everyone—including the president—has avoided reporters. But someone will have to talk eventually. What do you do?

Is there ever a time you should not talk to the media? Here are two:

There is no plan

One of the worst times to talk the media is if your company doesn’t have a plan. To fully tackle any major controversy, you should always regroup and consider all your options.

All it takes is one slip-up for the media to come after you. Remember the BP oil spill? CEO Tony Hayward went on TV to try to ease everyone’s minds and answer questions regarding the company’s future. Unfortunately, his PR team didn’t seem to have a plan, or at least failed to coach him properly. As a result, he made the situation worse.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.