Tips for Journalists on Approaching People Affected by Tragedy

Scott Sobel, Senior Strategy and Communications Executive, provides advice for journalists on how to approach people affected by tragedy:

  • Ask a friend, law enforcement officer or other mutual contact for an introduction to the grieving interview subject.
  • Always start conversations or interviews with the expression of condolences.
  • Mention any commonalities or empathy, as in, “I have kids, I can’t imagine what you are going through having just lost your child.”
  • Preface sensitive questions with a qualifying phrase, such as, “Mrs. X, I’m about to ask a very tough question about your loss, of course, you don’t have to answer. Do you mind if I ask …?”

For more recommendations from Scott, click here to read Evelyn Tipatci’s PR Newswire article.

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