Rescue Your Spokespeople with Two Often Ignored Media Interview Techniques

For immediate release                                  Contact:    Ed Barks
Thursday, March 15, 2012                                                (540) 955-0600


“Why do media interviews sometimes go off the rails? The biggest reason may be that your spokespeople don’t possess the tools needed to direct the interview on your preferred course.” So begins a just-released position paper titled, “Sneak Peeks and Deflections: Two Often Ignored Media Interview Techniques Every Executive Needs to Know.”

The new media relations resource, written by Barks Communications President Ed Barks, continues, “For instance, are they able to plant a question by giving the reporter a peek around the corner? And can they successfully block questions they should not address?”

According to Barks, “These two techniques—the sneak peek and the deflection—should be vital parts of any executive’s media relations arsenal. Successful dealings with reporters mandate successful use of these communications tools.”

The first concept—the sneak peek—“is actually a simple concept, and one that is fairly easy to implement,” the paper explains. It is executed by ending a response with a phrase such as, “There’s more to that story,” or, “That’s not all.” Such expressions are designed to raise the odds that the reporter’s next question will follow the spokesperson’s desired path.

The second concept—the deflection—“can be used when the questioning gets heated,” the paper notes. It involves use of a key phrase, in this case at the beginning of a response. Phrases to remember include, “The fact of the matter is…” or “In reality…” Such language helps to put the interview back on track and to ease a potentially adversarial atmosphere.

Importantly, Barks concludes the paper with a listing of practical next steps—objectives, measurement techniques, and values—that media relations executives can take to sharpen their own communications edge as well as that of their spokespeople.

“Sneak Peeks and Deflections: Two Often Ignored Media Interview Techniques Every Executive Needs to Know” is available free of charge at

Ed Barks leads communications training workshops for executives who want to enhance their reputations, and for organizations that want to achieve their long-term business goals. The former radio broadcaster is the author of The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations. As President of Barks Communications since 1997, he has taught more than 3900 business leaders, association executives, government officials, athletes, entertainers, non-profit executives, and public relations staff how to succeed when they deal with the media, deliver presentations, and testify before government officials.