Suicide by Interview

Suicide by Interview

Britain’s Prince Andrew made news recently—but not in the way he expected. During a BBC interview, he was grilled about his friendship with convicted sex offender, the late Jeffrey Epstein.  The interview was a disaster and the prince has retreated from his royal duties.

Here’s the thing. There are times to decline media interviews. In a speeding news cycle, the Jeffrey Epstein story was off the front pages. Prince Andrew brought it back. He said he felt obligated because there were still questions about his relationship with Epstein.  Face it. The public is more interested in Duchess’s Kate and Meghan’s wardrobes.

Now we know why the Royals rarely give interviews. Obviously not media trained for tough interviews, he flubbed it and lost his dignity. For example, he talked about his sweating problem and explained he stayed at Epstein’s mansion for convenience.  The interview was about his personal life and he should have turned it down.

This does not mean you should always decline interviews. A key crisis rule: get bad news out fast. When a problem hits, you must go public giving your side of the story and talk about how the problem will be fixed.

However, when it comes to your personal life, regardless of interview requests, you are not obligated to accept. It will only keep attention on the problem—and you. There are times you must face the media.  But, as Prince Andrew showed us, there are times you don’t.

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Robin Cohn and Co

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