Should You Repeat the Negative in an Interview? ASK THE BOU

Should you repeat the negative in an interview? Well it depends. There is empirical evidence that repeating it only reinforces the audience’s belief that it’s true.  Psychological studies have consistently shown that oft-repeated statements are more likely to be perceived as true, regardless of their actual veracity. (see link) So it’s best to acknowledge the critique without repeating and move on to your message. How can that be done? For a negative opinion expressed about your organization’s ability to act you might say “Its unfortunate that people feel that way, because those who know us know that we are [insert message]” In a live interview where the reporter’s question is always heard by the audience you need to acknowledge it.


In a taped interview where the reporter’s question probably will not get used [they usually use just a short excerpt from your answers called a “sound bite”) you may afford to just answer the question you want – as long as you at least refer to the reporter’s question. “The question for us is whether [insert your own] and quite frankly I can say [message]” But there is no recipe, just a set of tools that you can use to be able to face the toughest questioning while still getting your message across to an audience.  One such tool is the ABC technique. Acknowledge the question. Bridge. Communicate your message. Use it when you feel it helps you.


Here is a good example of bridging and what Gary Orren of Harvard University calls “an affordable concession”. Watch how the Mayor of New Orleans bridges to his message “I was there” when asked if he made mistakes in dealing with Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans Katrina


Reference Materials


Here is an interesting article by Bill Orme (former UNDP Chief of Media) regarding the media’s role in electing Donald Trump. Also another study about how media coverage of ISIS is in fact helping them reach their goals. 

For those who like to plan ahe…

For those who like to plan ahead please see our 2013 calendar of events including the three day social media for…

Download our calendar for lear…

Download our calendar for learning events for 2013 at…

The next Strategic Media Skill…

The next Strategic Media Skills course in Washington 5-6 September 2012 will be held in downtown DC….

Read about CDC’s first social …

Read about CDC’s first social media workshop

The Ready Conference: CDC’s Social Media Conference Concludes

CDC held its first social media course on July 23-25, 2012. We were located in the heart of Washington, DC with participants from UNICEF, the World Bank, Haiti Peacekeepers, Development partners from Jamaica, and other members of the UN all attending.

It was a very successful conference as we covered different social media platforms, monitoring platforms, and heard great presentations from organizations such as Intermedia. Social media platforms were broken down into three categories; Information Publishing, Networking and Audience Engagement, and Media Sharing. Participants chose platforms that fit into their communications plans and and over the three days learned to use them strategically to meet their individual goals.


There were many great moments during the conference but some of the highlights included:

-How to be an Effective Blogger from seasoned blogger Roxanna Samii

-Social Media Monitoring Tools from Moncef Bouhafa

-Digital Networking Presentation by Intermedia

-Sharing of personal experiences and unique perspectives provided by participants


Everyone present at the conference took away some great tips and took home a new perspective that was shared by someone else. We covered so much that we wanted to share some resources so that as social media users grow and gain more experience, they have places to go to find answers on their own and to keep up with changing trends and new technology.

Happy Social Networking!



These are some basic websites that hold a ton of information. They are searchable and will be able to answer most if not all don’t be afraid to Google anything that you need help with! Wikipedia is a great basic resource as well. –This website is a very basic website that holds very many bloggers’ thoughts on social media as well as tutorials –Facebook’s own guide to Insights – Great tutorials o this webpage! – Aggregator of social media blog posts. Basic to complex this has what you need. – Contains case studies and research

Blogs: Here you can find interesting social media posts

I posted a new photo to Facebo…

I posted a new photo to Facebook

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worth watching

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