It’s one of the hardest things for a PR girl to say. We’re so obsessed with being on top of everything all the time that when where confronted by a question we’re unsure of by either a client, co-worker or media outlet, it’s difficult to say the words, “I don’t know”.
A common mistake we make in this industry, and life in general, is making guesses. This problem is particularly common on job interviews and with interns and co-workers in entry level positions. We don’t want to say we’re unsure of something because we don’t want others to think we don’t know what we’re talking about. The problem is that most of the time we end up giving the wrong information. Starting a sentence with, “I think it is…,” usually has a high chance of being inaccurate. Giving the wrong information to media outlets in particular could ruin your credibility and ultimately be detrimental to your career .
The reality is that we’re all juggling multiple clients, managing our peers, creating press materials and speaking to hundreds of media outlets every week. We’re not expected to know every single details of everything all the time. When asked a question in which you’re unsure of the answer simply state, “I’m not sure, let me get back to you on that,” and follow-up with the correct answers. This is much better than taking a risk and giving the wrong answer that ends up ruining your credibility. Seems like common sense, right? Even I’m guilty of taking guesses not only at my job, but also in my personal life.
The next time you’re asked a question with an answer you’re unsure of, feel confident stating that you don’t know and will get back to the person. State that you don’t want to give false information and will double check on the answer. Remember that this doesn’t necessarily make you look bad – instead you come off as a person that wants to give the most accurate information.
What are your feelings about saying, “I don’t know”?