Is it Time for Media Training?
If you’re asking the question, the answer is probably yes. If you’re in a position to speak on behalf of your company or organization in front of the “fourth estate,” you should have some understanding of how the media operates and how to get your messages across effectively. Good media training can get you there.
As the spokesperson for a company, product or issue, you should be credible, comfortable and knowledgeable. With proper training, you’ll be able to develop effective messages and determine the best ways to communicate those messages. You’ll be prepared for interactions with the press: at a press conference or trade show, in a phone interview, or—the unthinkable horror—in an ambush interview. In training, you’ll participate in “mock” interviews that will force you to confront issues, tackle possible negative perceptions and explain your positions convincingly.
Scroll through any of your favorite newsfeed videos and witness how company leaders come off when they aren’t prepared—like telling a national reporter that some women’s bodies “don’t work” in your company’s yoga pants. Watch the Bloomberg interview with Lululemon founder Chip Wilson.
Looks like somebody should have sat down with a friendly PR pro for some—you guessed it—media training.
But crisis situations are only one application of media training. There are many more routine business benefits. Maybe you’re launching a new product or service. You might think you know exactly what to say—but don’t underestimate the difficulty of translating “internal speak” for an external audience. It can be a tall order. Maybe your organization is making a push into a new market and, thus, a new media locale. If you plan on getting not just the word out, but the right words, media training can help you tremendously. And, of course, if your company is proactively pitching the latest, greatest research coming out of your building, media training will help ensure—if you land that interview with your dream outlet—that you are ready.
Here a few guidelines to help you prepare for an interview with the press:
- Be consistent with your messages.
- Try to stay in control of the interview.
- When you don’t know, don’t guess.
Still don’t think you or your company spokespeople would benefit from some training? Simply watch someone who’s gone through the process (see Adam Silver in action below). You’ll see what a difference it makes.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver handles questions on then Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling…
…and then chooses the right words when issuing the “Lifetime Ban Heard ’Round the World.”
If you’re interested in media training, simply contact us and let us know.