Tag Archives: media relations

That’s Not What I’m Here To Discuss

Also known as “No Comment”

nocommentHere’s some PR analysis from Matt Wilson at Ragan.com on a recent interview with former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. As reported at Mediaite, after MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell posed a question about spying, Oren’s earpiece (conveniently?) had “technical issues.” Coincidence?

Another approach could have been to state, “Sorry, but I’m not going to offer you any insight there…” then steer the discussion back to his message: “what I can tell you is…” and then: key talking points.

Other phrases useful in this situation:

  • “I’m not going to speak to that, but…”
  • “I understand your question, but we’re here today to talk about…”
  • “This has been addressed elsewhere (only if so), but right now…”

The lesson here is to acknowledge the inquiry directly and politely, but not offer any additional information — then promptly get the conversation back on message. It can be tricky in the heat of the moment, especially on a controversial issue, but this can also be a more honest approach in the direction of getting PR right. It’s more likely to help ensure an interviewee’s points are heard, and is far friendlier than a blunt “no comment.”

Check out these additional options offered by Ragan’s PR Daily: Alternatives to “No Comment,” and see this video of awkwardness compiled by Huffington Post of politicians dodging reporters.

What do you think? Have you ever been asked something where your only answer was “no comment?” Do any examples of question-dodging come to mind? Let us hear from you in the comments.

An Airline Gets it… Right?

In these days of security pat-downs, rising travel costs, and seemingly ever-declining customer service, it’s with great interest that I read the story of Mile Runners — freakishly dedicated travelers who go to great lengths (literally) to rack up frequent flier benefits. My favorite part of the article, however, was the official response from Delta:

We take mileage runs and our customers’ commitment to maintaining their SkyMiles Medallion status as confirmation that we’re offering highly desirable benefits to our customers. The lengths our customers will go to gain and maintain their miles are impressive, and we take it as a compliment. [read full story]

I mean, wow — here’s an industry with very real challenges gracefully acknowledging the positive aspect of their powerusers. More importantly, they’re taking the right approach from a customer service and media perspective. And rightly so; everyone wins in this story:

  • Delta gets confirmation that frequent flier benefits are attractive
  • They get some free advertising for said benefits
  • Mile runners get a bit of glamor with their specialized knowledge

All of the above is a win-win for any company and its superfans, especially a company facing the sometimes very public challenges Delta and other airlines surely do every day. Props to Delta and spokesperson Chris Kelly Singley for getting this one right.

I don’t know that I’d ever take up mile-running, but it’s good to know the industry might be behind me if I did.

What do you think? Did Delta do right? Or do you have a similar example to share? Let us hear from you in the comments.