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Words That Make Media Trainers Cringe, and What You Should Say Instead

October 31, 2013

We media trainers spend a lot of time helping clients figure out what to say to reporters and, especially, how to say it. But a media strategy isn’t complete without a discussion of the language that you should avoid. These are the simple phrases that can overshadow solid messaging and taint an otherwise successful interview.

Some expressions are dangerous for a particular media encounter, but are safe in other contexts. And then, there are those phrases that tend to be treacherous in any interview. While there are rare exceptions, these lines will almost always make a reporter take note, and make a media trainer cringe:

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Mark Bernheimer Mark Bernheimer is a former CNN national correspondent, and the founder of MediaWorks Resource Group (, an international media training and consulting firm.

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