What is Media Training
Media training is a much-used term which is sometimes misunderstood. It is not something FOR the media but for anyone who wishes to communicate WITH the media.
No-one should liaise with journalists until they have had suitable training. Journalists have agendas and often pre-formed ideas of what they want the angle to be. You don’t want to give substance to erroneous, misleading and damaging stories.
Radio and TV interviews may look simple but they are not. You need to think of an interview as a carefully planned but authentic performance. Seasoned interviewees will have had days of media training and preparation to ensure they can be effective in a brief encounter.
Most media training sessions can be divided in to pro-active or reactive training sessions or often, a combination of the two.
Proactive media training
This type of training is where you are seeking out publicity and want to ensure, when the opportunity arises, you maximise the potential of any media encounters. This might include product launches, company news or the opportunity to become industry spokespeople.
The trainer will have researched your company in detail before the session begins. He/she will advise you on what journalists are looking for and how to maximise the chances of publicity. The interviews will be based around potential upcoming stories with challenging and unexpected left-field questions in the mix.
The trainer would look at your messages in detail and ensure they resonate with the intended audience. Sometimes anecdotes and colour are needed to illustrate the point and ensure the interview is memorable.
According to your requirements, the training will prepare you for press (local, national and specialist), radio, TV and remote TV (sometimes called “down-the-line”) interviews. All interviews are filmed and played back to highlight strengths and weaknesses. Examples of good and bad practice from broadcast interviews are played to show how and how not to conduct interviews.
Each delegate will receive personal feedback, course notes and a memory card or upload of their interviews plus the offer of help in the future should they need it.
All of this treated with complete confidence with all notes and interviews deleted after training.
Crisis media training
All companies need crisis media training. Adverse and unexpected events happen to every organisation. How you deal with these will determine whether or not you suffer reputational damage.
Crisis media training gives you skills, techniques, analysis and above all lots of practice to get this right in a supportive, confidential training environment. This shared experience will ensure that, when the unexpected happens, the team will step into action appropriately.
Before the session, the trainer will research your organisation and devise several realistic and relevant scenarios. During training these scenarios will feel very real as you face tough and uncompromising interviews.
It is usual to have press, radio, TV, remote TV interviews and maybe even a press conference.
Everything is recorded and analysed with you. You will keep a memory stick or upload of all interviews to review further at your leisure. All of this treated with complete confidence with all notes and interviews deleted after training
Who needs media training?
Anyone who may need to talk to the media must have media training. Depending on the size of the company, it is usual to have several spokespeople. This usually includes the CEO, Chair, senior executives, senior operational staff, subject specialists (where appropriate) and senior PR employees.
It is very valuable to train people together to ensure messaging is shared and consistent. Delegates can learn from each other, sharing best practice and good examples.
When should we be trained?
Straight-away! You never know when you may need to talk to journalist – by choice or necessity. Make sure you are ready! If staff have received media training a while ago, book a refresher.
What to expect?
Most delegates really enjoy their training but it is challenging. You can expect all interviews to be videoed, played back and analysed in a supportive environment. The questions are meant to make you think on your feet.
All sessions are designed with the skills and experience of the delegates in mind to ensure the session is pitched appropriately.