Making Lemons out of Lemonade

If WGN entertainment reporter Dean Richards didn’t know it before, he sure knows it now. Do not ask Kelly Rowland about Beyonce.

From the moment Kelly appeared on screen, her cool demeanor and tone of voice conveyed annoyance. We didn't know why at first, but then it became clear. Kelly wanted to talk about the product she was being paid to promote, Claritin, and not the other, more compelling subjects reporters are likely to ask about e.g., her career, and of course Beyonce. This isn’t to say Kelly wasn’t justified in being annoyed by the Beyonce questions during her via satellite interview on WGN and other TV stations. Especially since her handlers issued the "No Beyonce questions" mandate. But, when your former bandmate is as big a star as Beyonce and Beyonce has just released an explosive “video album” called Lemonade, you have to know you’re going to get questions on the subject. It's the proverbial elephant in the room. Richards wouldn't have been doing his job if he ignore the obvious.

Instead of clipped answers and an attempt to abruptly change the subject, Kelly could have utilized a time tested interview technique called Bridging to go from Bey to Claritin.  Bridging involves the use of short phrases to help interviewees get from a reporter's question to their message. Instead of dismissing Dean Richards' Beyonce questions, Kelly could have briefly responded and then transitioned to Claritin by perhaps saying “You know what Beyonce and I have in common besides music?…spring time allergies! Anything along those lines would have made Kelly appear more open than defensive, and likely made the folks at Bayer a lot happier. Yes, the video above went viral and got the segment more attention than it would have received otherwise, but for the wrong reason. What people are likely to remember about this segment is Kelly putting a reporter in his place, not the product she was promoting.