Arina Borodina: Never be ashamed of not knowing something

Russian journalist Arina Borodina met with participants of the program “Transnistrian Dialogues: Women’s edition” and presented a webinar “Rules of effective communication with journalists”. During the online meeting, the expert talked about how to prepare for a meeting with the media and how to react in crisis situations.

One of the golden rules of effective communication with journalists and their audience is that there must always be a reason for public speeches and comments.

Arina Borodina: Do not chase after journalists to call or write to you, just to be mentioned in the general flow, because comments without a reason is more likely to harm your image. And if you’re not on topic or don’t know the details, you should definitely decline. If you are not an expert on the topic or the situation, then your comment without a reason will look strange and definitely will not add to your popularity and trust of the audience.

In the case of written commentary, Arina Borodina advises you to stipulate before the interview what you would like the journalists to take into account.

Arina Borodina: I would not discount a request to show you the interview before publication. That way, you can avoid being misunderstood or having something phrased incorrectly. You give notice before the interview that you want to read it as finished and visaed. If you have the opportunity, put your recording device next to you. Have your own copy of the conversation. This is important.

An important aspect is the need to adapt complex, professional terms to the audience with whom you are speaking and to dilute them with examples. When preparing for an interview, the expert advises to look for statistics, facts, write out, for example, figures. You can put notes in front of your eyes. “Never be ashamed of the fact that you do not know something”, – says the journalist.

Borodina also told how to behave in case of unforeseen situations.

Arina Borodina: Let’s say you have a scandal, you are somehow discredited, framed. There can be different reactions. Sometimes it is better to keep silent and say nothing. Talk to your press secretary. A sincere response will be well-received by the audience, but no hysterics and tears. Tears should be only in justified situations. Hysterics and tears, especially on video, sometimes create the opposite effect and it is not always understood by the audience. But here everything is very individual. A live emotion is still better than a dead one, but sometimes the absence of comments is also a way out of a difficult situation.

The journalist advises to prepare the ending of the interview in advance. “I don’t really like it when they say: thank you for your attention or thank you very much. The finale is important, it should also be thought through”, – concluded Borodina.

The program “Transnistrian Dialogues: Women’s Edition” includes a group of women from both banks of the Dniester. During this autumn, they meet weekly on the online platform ZOOM, to participate in thematic seminars, organized by IPIS.

The programme is implemented with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland and Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.