Tag Archives: PR

Handling Tough Media Interviews

Patrick O'Reilly

As the president of Riverside, California’s OPR Communications, Patrick O’Reilly has provided well-crafted public relations services to clients for more than a decade. OPR is particularly noted for its ability to advise clients on media relations and crisis communication, two vital aspects of any public relations plan. Patrick O’Reilly and OPR have delivered high-quality work to educational institutions, energy companies, and a variety of small businesses and major corporations in Riverside and elsewhere.

All public relations professionals understand that preparing a client to deal with a difficult or sensitive media interview can represent a significant challenge. Helping a client avoid being ambushed with aggressive or insinuating questions from journalists involves a number of factors.

In general, anyone facing a tough interviewer should spend time practicing answers to the kinds of questions likely to be asked, as well as reinforcing core messages. Rehearsal can help even the most nervous individual feel more in command of his or her responses.

It’s important not to dodge leading questions. Answer without appearing defensive, then close with a truthful and positive statement.

Be careful with hypothetical questions. Concentrate on the facts without indulging in speculation. You can say, “While I can’t comment on something that hasn’t happened, I can say . . .”

One time-honored way to address tough questions involves “bridging”—using the question as a lead-in to delivering a core positive message. Phrases that come in handy here include “We need to remember,” “It’s important to,” and the like.


The O’Reilly Public Relations Team

Patrick O’Reilly owns and operates O’Reilly Public Relations (OPR) in Riverside, California. Founded in August 2001, OPR reflects the founder’s significant community, political, and media expertise. Patrick O’Reilly and his Riverside team of PR experts have developed OPR into a reputable firm with numerous types of successful communications campaigns to its credit.

The team at OPR includes professionals with proven records of successes in public affairs. With requisite insight and talent, the OPR team comprehends the tactical advantages of aligning client objectives with appropriate public policy.

In addition to Patrick O’Reilly, the OPR team includes vice president Lou Monville and director of media relations Michael Fisher. Mr. Monville gives business and public agency clients the benefit of his experience in strategic public affairs. His clients are located across the western United States. For more than 10 years, he has assisted clients in such issues as energy project development, in land use entitlement, and in higher education.

In his role at OPR, Michael Fisher engages his skill as an award-winning journalist to conceive and to develop communications and media relations programs. He has executed crisis response plans and provided media training to help clients develop essential PR skills.