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No comment ...

March 31, 2008 - Lee Smith
On occasion, we deal with sources who, for one reason or another, do not wish to comment on a given issue or set of circumstances. I'd like to make an appeal to all of you who may someday find yourself called by a member of the media and wishing you hadn't been. Take the opportunity to speak to the public. It will serve you better in the long run. When you speak to a member of the media, he or she is a go-between between you and the public. When someone picks up a newspaper or turns on the radio, they are reading or listening to your words because they too care about the issue. They may know you or they may not. Regardless, they are interested. For the same reason, they are interested when something good happens to you. Just today we learned that one of our downtown businesses has closed. That's part of life. Small businesses come and go. When they arrive, they are more than happy to tell you all about their plans, hopes and dreams. When it doesn't work out for them, they sometimes clam up. But people — including friends and admirers — are still interested in the story. It doesn't hurt to describe the particular hardships that forced a business to close. And it may save headaches in the long run. People are curious even when "No comment" appears in the newspaper. Sources can clear up confusion and make an attempt to deal with something once in public rather than have to repeat the story time and time again in private. What's more, we believe people will RESPECT you if you are forthright and honest in a public setting. If you don't comment, people will think you have something to hide. Even if you don't.

 
 

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