When you respond to a question with a “No Comment” you actually are making a statement: “I don’t want to answer that question and I really wish you had not asked it.” Whether it is in front of a camera or not, we all will be asked questions we don’t want to answer. “No comment” is not the way to proceed for many reasons.
(1) The phrase has a stigma attached. It makes it look like you are hiding something.
(2) It doesn’t resolve the issue for the questioner. That response only gets them more interested in the real answer.
(3) There is often a legitimate reason for not answering a question and you have an opportunity to explain what that is.
If there are legitimate reasons for not answering a question, prepare an answer that makes your case. Sometimes you have confidential information that you shouldn’t share and you should be willing to acknowledge that. Attorneys will often not answers questions regarding a pending case and should be prepared to explain why (lawyers frequently go over board on this and won’t answer anything just to be safe). Sometimes you do not have all the facts yet and answering a question could be a mistake. So how about saying, “We don’t have all the facts yet,” and explain when you think you might. Some questions are personal and you are well within your rights not to answer them. Your response should be along those lines. If you really can’t come up with a good reason for not answering a question, maybe you should reconsider why you are avoiding it. If you are ever completely caught off guard to a question, there is one other alternative, say nothing. Otherwise, make you case.
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