Dealing with the media has become a necessity for many companies, both large and small. With such a variety of different news style outlets delivered by our online, digital world, it’s important to ensure those who appear on the camera, talk to journalists or get interviewed on radio have the appropriate training.
That training isn’t just for those who are the face of your company such as CEOs and directors but the people who prepare statements for the media or are involved in promoting your business either in person or online.
What is Media Training?
There are a multitude of different ways your company or organisation may come into contact with the media. Some of it may be pre-planned such as when you have a product launch or change in leadership announcement. It could be by chance, including an on the spot interview at an event or conference. It could also, of course, happen in a negative context, especially if something has gone wrong with your company and the press have become involved.
Media training is all about making sure you have the best plans and approaches in place for dealing with the media and, hopefully, using any such opportunity to create positive coverage.
Who Is It For?
While you may think that media training is designed for the top echelons of your business when they interact with the press, actually it needs to be made available to anyone who might be asked to speak to the media or develop releases and content that is aimed at them.
A lot of course will depend on the size of your company and how it is structured. What works for a small business might not be the same as for large corporations where roles are more strictly defined. It’s important that key staff have the right training before the opportunity to engage with the media arises – getting it wrong can send the wrong messages and cause reputational damage to your business.
What Does Media Training Involve?
The kind of media training your organisation needs many be very different to other organisations so ensuring you get a bespoke package that works for your requirements is important. However, there are some common areas that media training often includes across all organisations. First, you should expect to be taking part in training sessions where the camera’s all-seeing eye is on you. An interviewer will ask you questions and then that will be played back, and the various good and bad points highlighted.
When talking to the media, you may be presented with pretty tough questions and learning how to answer these under pressure is a key part of the training. A lot of the technique is about handling unforeseen questions and steering the conversation back to safer waters. Of course, dealing with the media in pressurised situations is a lot easier if you go into the interview prepared. That means learning when and how to do your homework and formulate the answers to questions that you anticipate will crop up.
Ensuring that your staff are fully equipped to deal with the media under a range of different circumstances won’t necessarily give you all the responses you need for every occasion, but it will better arm you to deal with them. Encouraging training for these individuals is one of the best investments you can make in an increasingly media orientated world.