When is an interview officially over?
In our media training, we make it clear that even when the camera is turned off and the reporter is packing up his gear, anything is still fair game.
Take the recent exchange between Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and NBC 5 political reporter Mary Ann Ahern.
The mayor became upset with Ahern for asking whether it was true that Emanuel would be sending his children to private school rather than the Chicago Public Schools.
Emanuel, known for his salty language, dodged Ahern's question by saying his kids aren't public figures. Appearing later on WLS-AM, Ahern said that when the camera was off, the mayor went on a screaming tirade, getting within inches of her face while taking her to task for her question.
The mayor apparently thought that what he was telling Ahern off-camera wouldn't be reported. And yet, there was Ahern, talking about the incident on Chicago radio.
You have to assume that any interview is never really over. Don't assume you won't be quoted, even when the camera is no longer rolling. Instead, take the opportunity to re-emphasize your main points and develop a rapport with the reporter, but never let down your guard.
When is an interview officially over? Answer: never.