What do you do when a reporter - or even a customer or client - puts you on the spot? Do you freeze? Do you backpedal, stall for time, or completely avoid the question? None of those are proper responses, but they are quite common. Enter the "bridge," a tried and true method that helps reintroduce control and stability to interviews.
Unfortunately, bridging has a tarnished reputation thanks to public figures that too easily use it as a way to avoid answering hard questions. The truth is that hard questions must be addressed truthfully, but the truth requires careful context - and that's where the art of the bridge is crucial.
Ashley is the principal and founder of Arrow PR, which offers a new approach to public relations specifically for early-stage and lean organizations.
After nearly ten years at a handful of top-notch boutique PR firms in San Francisco, Ashley noticed a couple things: all the exciting stuff happens at the beginning of a company, but most PR agencies cannot simplify their model enough to provide the kind of surgical service that these early-stage companies need. The premise of Arrow PR is that you don't need a lot of overhead to do good PR work. In other words, you need smarts and agility - not coverage reports.
Ashley's experience ranges from major global companies (Intuit, Salesforce, SAP) to the lean, mean startup machine days of Dropbox, Quip, LivingSocial, One Block Off the Grid, Net Power & Light, Eye-fi, and others.
This talk was an eye opener for me. I think as humans we are so tempted to answer direct questions as quickly and as best we can. But the reality is that sometimes attempting to answer a tough question is more destructive than productive. Ashley's talk helped me think through the best strategic approach to the addressing a question before simply blurting out my first, knee-jerk response on the spot. Really valuable session.