The last resort is the, "No comment," response. If time is needed to gain an accurate response, then advise the interviewer that you will find the answer and get back in as reasonable time as possible.
In the Church setting this can be quite a challenge, particularly when church personnel are not experienced to receive such requests or skilled with the necessary response techniques. There is also the inherent fear of damaging the Church's hard earned reputation if the response is incorrect or not given in a credible way.
Below is a suggested response for the Church marketing personnel. This includes:
• Being prepared for the interview and anticipating negative questions
• Interview techniques to assist
Be Prepared - A Response Method
• Anticipate the sort of negative questions which might arise and prepare good responses.
• Have your key 3-4 positive points you would like to make.
It may also be necessary to make arrangements with the interviewee prior to the interview, and before the journalist arrives, that the Church Marketing Manager would interject respectfully if the interviewee was getting particularly stressed or confused during the interview. This is particularly necessary if the person being interviewed is a child / student. There is always a duty of care to assist the child firstly and respond to the interviewer only secondly.
Key techniques during the interview when asked a difficult question requiring a response are usually:
1. Acknowledge the weakness (apologize if needed)
2. Agree that plans are afoot to improve the situation
3. Continually revert back to the 3-4 key positive points you want to make.
The Serious or Controversial Issue - Interview
Dealing with a serious or controversial issue involves having staff well trained with important interview techniques. These techniques are usually coordinated by the church's authorities who have qualified staff to train urch personnel.
The techniques above would often form the basis for such difficult interviews. These interviews often result from alleged controversial or illegal incidents, involving staff or parishioners.
These days the difficult media question is a stock question of the journalist's profession. There is nothing better for a church's reputation when these questions are responded to well and those being informed through the interview see a professional approach being shown and implemented. Be informed, prepared and skilled with the various interview techniques.
The 'The Difficult Media Question During an Interview - a Response' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com and all good bookstores.