In almost all cases, no.
Imagine this scene that never happens:
Reporter: "Mr. Fiebish, allegations are that you took bribes from your vendors. Are they true?"
Mr. Brown: "No comment."
Reporter: "Oh. Sorry. Forget it then. Lunch?"
"No comment" isn't the same as not answering a reporter's question. It's a quotable refusal left open to interpretation. That's usually not a good thing.
There are only three good answers to a reporter's direct question: I can, I will and I can't. For you more formal executives that would be: Thy shall, Thy whilst and Nay! Thy mustn't.
Here they are in real life:
- I know the answer and it is thus. Using "thus" is optional
- I don't know the answer but will get it for you. Maybe not you specifically, but your minions. Or your PR people.
- I can't answer the question because (insert here) I don't know the answer, the information is proprietary, I'm already late for my Zumba class, etc. You get the idea.
There's no problem not answering a question for a legitimate reason. Just understand that using "no comment" as the extent of your answer will make you look guilty, arrogant and afraid even if you're not.
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