Everyone has heard of Kellyanne Conway, right? Surely you've seen interviews with Kellyanne and exasperated reporters? Her ability to answer questions with non-answers often has reporters shaking their heads.
Carlos Maza outlines Kellyanne's key tactics.
1. Deflect. Kellyanne listens to the question asked, hears a keyword, and repeats the keyword in a statement that doesn't necessarily answer the question. But, because she repeated the keyword, it almost seems as if she did answer the question.
2. Exploit politeness. If Kellyanne repeatedly deflects questions as above, a reporter can only repeat the question a few times before being seen as rude or confrontational - eventually they will give up and move on.
3. Pass the buck. Kellyanne very often simply states "I don't know" or suggests another individual would be the appropriate person to answer the question.
4. Make something up. When in doubt, at times it appears as though Kellyanne makes something up - true or not.
During SunStar Strategic's media training, we work with our clients to develop and perfect their interview techniques, but you won't find us teaching any of the techniques mentioned above. When our clients are asked an unexpected or undesirable question we teach them how to answer the question asked then bridge to a topic or issue they do wish to discuss. We value the interviewee-reporter relationship and teach our clients to cultivate and nurture those relationships rather than alienate them. Would you like to learn more about successful interview techniques? Check out our top Do's and Don'ts.
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