Donald Trump’s “Off-The-Record” New York Times Interview

On January 5, 2016, Donald Trump visited the editorial board of The New York Times. Some 30 editors were reportedly present for the meeting, portions of which were agreed by both parties to be off the record.

Late last week, a columnist for the Times who attended that meeting wrote a piece suggesting that Trump was more flexible on his immigration views than he was letting on publicly.

This incident offers a cautionary tale about why going off the record is risky — and adds a new rule to my list of things to consider if you’re ever inclined to speak in that manner.


Happy Thanksgiving: The “Watch Your Back!” Edition

It’s become something of a Thanksgiving tradition for me to post this video of Sarah Palin from 2008.

The backstory: Shortly after her defeat in the 2008 general election, she visited a local turkey farm in Alaska to pardon a turkey. She was oblivious to the bloody turkey slaughter taking place behind her.

But this isn’t a “Palin-bashing” article. As you’ll see, other people have made similar mistakes. And in this post, you’ll learn how to avoid them.


Beyond The Interview: How To Influence a News Story

In this guest post, a fellow media trainer writes that “One of the key success strategies we’re seeing from our media training sessions is a shift in focus from interview practice to non-interview practice.”

He writes, “That’s not to say that practicing interviews isn’t the most important aspect of media training—it is. But there are some sophisticated non-interview techniques that can influence the story perspective.”

In this post, he will offer you several ideas to help influence the final story—before the interview ever takes place.


Media Interview Bridging: Is Bridging An Outdated Practice?

In my series about media interview bridging, I’ve explained the importance of bridging and showed you how to execute the technique effectively.

But I wanted to acknowledge a debate in the public relations industry about whether or not bridging is an outdated practice that should be abandoned.

My short answer to that question is no. But the critics make a few points worth examining—so in this post, I’ll look at the main objections and assess their validity.


Media Interview Bridging: Two Good Video Examples

In this post, I’ll continue my media interview bridging series by showing you two good examples of bridging from two very different types of spokespersons.

The first highlights Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who appeared on Face The Nation in 2014 to discuss Ebola in the United States.

The second features actress Anne Hathaway, whose promotion of her 2012 film Les Misérables was marred by a revealing photo of her that had been taken without her permission and widely shared online.


Media Interview Bridging: Three Examples

So far in our media interview bridging series, you’ve learned what a bridge is and when to use one, seen a list of sample bridge lines, and read an example of a bridge in action during an interview.

In this post, you’ll find three additional examples of bridging during an interview.

To make this post as helpful as possible, I selected three types of questions interviewees often face: speculative questions, false premise questions, and accusatory questions.


Media Interview Bridging: Sample Bridge Lines

In the first part of our media interview bridging series, I defined what “bridging” is, showed you how to bridge during a media interview, and explained when you should do so.

In this post, you’ll find a list of 17 popular bridge lines.

I suggest that you take a look at them, find a couple you’d be most comfortable using, and store them in memory before your next interview.


Media Interview Bridging: An Introduction

Despite publishing more than 1,200 blog posts, we’ve never done a deep dive on how to “bridge,” or transition, during a media interview. I’m not sure how that happened!

Over the next month, I’ll correct that oversight and publish a series of articles about bridging that teaches you how to transition from a reporter’s question back to your message effectively. Along the way, you’ll find a few dozen transition lines, see several examples, and read why I disagree with those who argue bridging isn’t as useful as it used to be.

In this first article, I’ll discuss what a bridge is and when to use one.

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