How To Handle A B2B Media Interview

This blog provides invaluable advice on what to do before, during, and after a media interview to ensure you and your business are represented positively.

Understanding Media Interviews

Media interviews are essential opportunities to showcase your expertise and connect with your target audience. Whether you’re promoting your business or sharing insights on a specific topic, understanding the dynamics of media interviews is crucial. Interacting with the media requires finesse and understanding of how the industry operates.

How to prepare for a B2B media interview

Effective media interview preparation involves more than just memorising key points. It covers the entire interview process, from researching your audience and anticipating questions to crafting compelling responses and post-interview follow-ups.

Begin with research – Take time to study the publication/website/radio or TV station – know your target audience before you start talking. It’s a good idea to look at what’s been happening recently with the media outlet that will be conducting the interview.

If you know who will be doing the interview, it helps to research the reporter too – check out his or her latest articles/podcasts, or tweets.

What’s the angle? – if you’re unsure of the angle the interview is likely to take, ask the journalist beforehand what particular points that they would like to cover.

Anticipate potentially controversial or tough questions – ensure that you know how to deal with them. Remember, the journalist is looking for an angle; they will ask the most probing questions they can so preparation is the key to success. Some journalists may even let you see their questions before the interview but beware of scripting your answers.

Have your key messages close by – those points that are really important to get across first, together with supporting background information and data. However, don’t go into the interview armed with notes. You will either end up reading them and appearing insincere or even worse, shuffling them and appearing unprepared.

8 Tips for a Successful Media Interview

Navigating a media interview successfully requires a strategic approach. Discover eight key tips that can elevate your interview performance and impact.

Give your full name, title, and company details – that way the reporter is less likely to get it wrong.

Be enthusiastic – it is better to appear passionate about your particular subject than to come across as unconcerned.

Listen carefully to the journalist’s questions – don’t be tempted to act hastily with an answer by speaking over your interviewer. This is a two-way conversation.

Don’t rush into details – try to answer the ‘why’ first. People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it, help people to understand your business or your product by telling them why it exists.

There is usually no specific time limit – try to relax and take a breath and think before you speak. Repeat the question back if you’re not sure what they mean or you need to buy yourself some thinking time.

Honesty is always the best policy, no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ – never be tempted to prevaricate if you don’t know the answer to a question.

Avoid the ‘no comment’ answer – you are not a suspect being interviewed by the police. If there is information you can’t divulge, explain why you can’t disclose that detail (but make sure you have a cast-iron reason why you can’t unpack that information).

Be confident and speak with authority and conviction – you are doing the interview because you are the expert and the reporter needs your quotes. Always stay calm and don’t be drawn into a heated discussion that can end up in a slanging match.

It’s never ‘off the record’

Don’t ever think you are speaking ‘off the record’ – only give answers you are happy to see reproduced in print or online. It’s normal for reporters to record the interview. When the chips are down, there is no such thing as ‘off the record.’

Never lose your cool – even if the questions become difficult, keep your answers both relevant and positive. Again, preparation is the key – anticipate the most awkward questions the journalist can throw at you, that way you’ll be ready.

Always make sure you are answering the question posed – rather than twisting it around to make a point you want to make. The reporter will immediately see through your ploy – they’re like a dog with a bone if they think you’re attempting to conceal something.

Avoid single-word answers – ‘Yes’ doesn’t give the reporter much to work on and ‘No’ sounds like you might be hiding something.

Try to give a complete answer – the reporter’s question may not be used in the feature so your quotes must be able to stand up in isolation. But make sure you don’t ramble – give short and to-the-point answers and then stop talking. Wait for the journalist to ask the next question.

Don’t knock the competition – concentrate on your own company’s expertise, it’s never a good idea to denigrate your competitors.

Use examples to illustrate your most important points. Storytelling is a great way to communicate your messages.

Know your audience

Remember who you’re talking to – technical jargon isn’t going to be appreciated by a local newspaper. An industry-specific magazine, however, will be looking for the finer details. Always explain acronyms if you have to use them; better still avoid using them altogether.

Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know; offer to check on facts you are not 100% sure of. As part of your preparation, make sure you know the answers to the key factual information that is likely to be referrenced. If there is something you don’t know, admit it. Offer to get back to the reporter with the details – then ALWAYS make sure you do. Journalists love people who help them and hate those that lead them up the garden path.

Try to end your interview with a key message – people tend to remember what they have been left with so if at all possible, make the final moments count.

Enjoy your moment in the spotlight – by remaining positive and helpful throughout the interview you’ll build a relationship with the journalist and they will want to interview you again. And don’t forget to thank the journalist, however tough they may have been, they’re only doing their job.

How to handle the post-interview

Once the interview is over, there are several questions you can ask the reporter:

Are you interviewing anyone else for this feature? – it would be useful to know who else is going to appear alongside you in the article.

Is there anything further I can add? – check if the reporter needs any more information from you

Ask when will the feature be seen – either on-air, in print, or digitally on a website/blog? Media coverage often creates more exposure; it may surprise you to find that your interview reaches beyond the audience of the original media.  

NEVER ask to review an interview before it goes on air/into print/onto the net – this will rarely be possible and even asking the question will make you look like an amateur. The only possible review could be of your quotes; you should, however, be able to trust the reporter to be accurate with these.

If you’d like expert help with your B2B marketing or media interview training, please contact us at or call us on 0116 2787788.