How Derek Jeter Managed the Media

To Answer — or Not to Answer.

How about a lesson in dealing with the media from Derek Jeter? The former athlete survived intense attention in the cut-throat baseball industry and with a company constantly in the spotlight.

“I learned early on in New York, the toughest media environment in sports, that just because a reporter asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to answer.” Derek Jeter

You, too, may face a tough question from a reporter. A journalist might ask you a leading question, in an effort to prompt you to repeat some colorful  — and potentially damaging — words in the question.

Here are four ways you can be like Jeter in your response:

  1. When a reporter tries to put words in your mouth, close your lips and swallow. Take the time you need to come up with a reply.
  2. Just say no. Don’t answer the question altogether. Ignore it. Move on to the next question.
  3. Answer the question you want to answer. Say, “That’s a good question and we are here to talk about the price of popcorn,” or whatever you want to speak about.
  4. Respond and give an answer that is not quotable or newsworthy.

You can receive more tips on media interviews by subscribing to this newsletter for pointers that will help you keep your eye on the ball when you get a nice or nasty question thrown at you.

When you’re ready, contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. Let’s practice hitting the question out of the park.

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This discussion has been lightly edited for evergreen content.