I thought, but am apparently wrong, that I had squirreled away something about how one shouldn’t talk to the police in almost any situation without a lawyer present. Examples of this advice abound on YouTube and I assume written versions can be found using a general web search.
Today, however, an interesting addition to this advice was presented at Vox Populi called Media training which covers talking to the media.
This is an excerpt from a member of a very large organization that is often the subject of media attention and has the need to train all its members on how to deal with the media.
1. Always be polite and smile.
2. Simply don’t return calls, or if they get your number, say no thank you and hang up.
3. If you are rude, shout at them, be a smart ass, or are anything but polite, they now have their story about you.
4. Their final attempt may be an ambush where walking out of your home where you are harrassed with a microphone in your face. If this happens, ask who they are, where they work, and what they want. Then repeat while smiling, “You seem very nice, but I can’t talk right now as I have to get to an appointment. I have your number and will call you later. Thank you. You seem nice.” Walk backwards a little, keep saying how nice the journalist is. Then leave and never speak to them again.
NEVER say “No Comment”. No Comment = guilty.
NEVER yell at them. They will play that clip 1000 times a day.
NEVER be rude. They will let the world know.
Tell them how nice and wonderful they are and they have NO STORY. The goal is for them to have NO STORY.
They will simply make up a story anyhow, but they will have to do so without any quotes or an interview. It will therefore be limited in its effectiveness.