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Being interviewed: bridging puts you back on track and saves squandering your opportunity

One of the most critical elements of the structure of your response in a media interview is the notion of ‘bridging’. Bridging is about linking the way you start your response with the way you finish it.

It is about ensuring that whatever ‘acknowledgement’ you use to begin your response there needs to be an entirely natural link or loop back to your strategic plan. This is why there are no templates but there are some obvious expressions that you can work on to close the gap. ‘However…’ is a well used one; ‘At the moment…’ or even ‘Right now…’ can help re-focus your efforts on returning to the narrative you initially established when planning for the
encounter.

Critics claim it ignores the central premise of any reporter’s question and sounds disingenuous or single minded. Both of these ideas are incorrect: firstly, whose to say the journalists’ agenda is the legitimate one – it isn’t.

Secondly, any disingenuity assumes there will be no ‘ballast’ to the response. Bridging does not deny an answer, or ignore the question, it protects the interviewee from mismanaging their time – or getting sucked into explaining or justifying the decision-making process.

However you tackle it, there always has to be a smooth linear transition: people can easily sniff out someone who is intentionally rejecting the question. If you can manoeuvre your way past the reporter and deliver your own strategy, that success is most often down to a really effective ‘bridge’.