You'll usually find it's better to speak with a reporter than keep silent, particulary when others who are speaking could cast you or your organization in a negative light. Saying, "No comment," can make you look guilty or as if you have something to hide.
But, there are times when refusing an interview request may be the best approach.
One situation would be when you've already said what there is to say, but the reporter is calling again to try to revisit the story. It may not make sense to open the door to the same sorts of questions when there really is no new ground to plow.
Another case would involve a reporter who has consistently misquoted you or mischaracterized your statements. Despite your repeated attempts to set him straight, he or she shows no signs of changing their approach.
A third occasion is when the story is not about you, but the reporter is trying to connect the dots to involve you. Being quoted in such a story is likely to make it appear that you are connected in some way, when you're not.
A fourth situation is when you sense that your statement within a story could make things worse, either for yourself or for others involved in the story. Labor negotiations fall into this category.
Sometimes, it's better to remain quiet, at least in the media. That doesn't mean you won't speak later or that you can't utter a stock, " "I'm sorry but there's really nothing else left to say right now," response. But, it's important to remember, especially in a tense or fluid situation, that silence can be golden.
Learn more about Mack's Media Training.