This morning I heard a senior city council executive do just that. It made me wonder what he was hiding, though there was nothing in the words themselves to justify such a feeling.

How reluctance to speak to a reporter can undermine your message

Broadcasting, on-line, and yes even print (I'll come back to that)... if you look and sound even slightly defensive or aloof, you will lose the game, lose the battle, call it what you will. That's because our gut reaction to someone who doesn't want to talk to us overrides our logic and makes us discount the credibility of their words - no matter how beautifully they have been crafted.

What about when you're delivering an admission of error? Yes, even for that, you must look as though you want to deliver that admission.

What about print media? Surely not.

Yes, even print, because when you give the inteview, you're having an effect on the reporter (rumoured to be a real person) who then decides how to write the article about you. Whatever the medium, whatever the topic, reluctance to be there is the kiss of death for your credibility.

Well, all right, there's an exception. If you just risked your own life to snatch a baby from out of the path of a rogue elephant, okay, you can be reluctant to be there.

Michael