How to Avoid Controversy in TV Interviews

By Patrick Coffee Comment

Our last post concerned the best ways to prepare for an interview and make sure that your client turns in a performance that is, at the very least, passable. But what if your client is, say, a prominent politician running for election who wants to avoid certain controversial or unflattering topics at all costs?

This clip is telling: A reporter from CBS affiliate KCNC in Denver, Colorado discusses the conditions she agreed to before interviewing Mitt Romney: no questions about Todd Akin or abortion.

We can certainly understand why the Romney campaign would make this request, and we have a feeling that related demands are common across the political spectrum, but the clip does raise some questions for PR pros:

If you represent clients about to go on interviews, how often do you lay down such stipulations to reporters? Is this sort of behavior as common in other fields as it seems to be in politics? How important are restrictions like these in ensuring that your client gives a fumble-free interview?