There are many times that professionals are compelled not to tell the whole truth to third parties outside of their organizations and the media. However, this is done easily when the facts are not yet obvious and the organization can quickly make amends.However, it is always advised that a C-Suite Executive should always be sincere with the reporter because he can keep investigating the story till he unfolds the entire truth. Once this happens, he got out of his way to tell the entire story in a way that the organization would not want.
We are humans and it is not every time when the situation would be perfect. If you do not want to reveal some things to the media, it is allowed but be conscious and cautious when verbalizing it. The midget (tiny voice recorder) or the voice recorder on the phone will not capture what you have not said. Your voice can be used as your words against theirs at the end of the day.
How do you deal with the situation, let the journalist know that you do not have all the facts as you speak, that you will confirm that assertion and you will make the official position known to him or her shortly.
We do not need to toy with the level of trust that the journalists and our stakeholders have in us. Once that is eroded, every communication that emanates from our organization will be treated with levity.
As said by the Father of Public Relations, Ivy Lee, “Tell the truth, because sooner or later the public will find it out anyway. And if the public doesn’t like what you are doing, change your policies and bring them into line with what the people want”
Also, the Wall Street Reporter says, “Never lie to a reporter, or that reporter will never trust you again”