Video: Press interviews and using ‘no comment’

Why no comment might not be the best response in an interview with a journalist

Over the years, as a journalist doing press interviews, I had a few interviewees respond to questions by saying ‘no comment’.

It was an answer that said more than was probably intended and not always the best response to trickier questions.

In the video, with a bit of help from Banksy, I explain why and how you can turn a tricky question into an opportunity.

Full video transcript:

There’s a quote that artist Banksy uses that he got from the Metropolitan Police.

And the quote is:

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How not to annoy B2B journalists and get more press coverage

Back in my days as B2B journalist, I was once told by someone I was interviewing for a feature that I should be doing my bit to boost the market.

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

They wanted me to write a positive piece about their area of the market. It’s the sort of comment that would have me rolling my eyes.

Why? Because putting a positive spin on the market wasn’t my job as a B2B journalist. I’d be doing a disservice to the readers of the magazine if I didn’t set out what was happening in the market – good, bad or otherwise.

Misconceptions about a journalists roles are common and those sort of requests not unusual.

My response was always the same, I would politely talk about maintaining the integrity of the publication by presenting an accurate view of the market. And they would always agree that that was an important thing to do.

It didn’t always stop them trying the same tactic to steer the editorial in a direction favourable to them another time. Sadly.

Tiresome tactic

But this tactic never worked, it was tiresome and didn’t serve longer-term relationship building.

A B2B journalists job isn’t to do your marketing for you. A feature or news story isn’t an advertorial, it’s not a brochure.

What a journalist is trying to do is find out useful and interesting information for their readers.

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