A probe question gives you the chance to make sure the reporter understands what you have said, and the opportunity to elaborate further on the subject.
Here are some examples of probe questions to listen for and recognize, next time a reporter contacts you:
1. Clarification: "What do you mean?" "Can you rephrase that?"
2. Justification: "What is your reasoning for that statement?" "What would someone opposing you say to that?"
3. Refocus: "How would you relate to ...?" "How does your competition's response influence your position?"
4. Prompting: "If you say ___, you must mean this." "Here's one possible response to that issue ___."
5. Redirecting the question (if another person is present): "Ms. James, do you agree?" "How would you respond to that, Dr. Dylan?"