Media training helps you conquer the media – the most prominent platform for marketing an organization. However, speaking to the media can truly make or break an organization’s reputation. To ensure a positive reputation, every media-facing organization should take advantage of media training.
What is media training?
Media training is designed to teach how to effectively communicate the organization’s message to journalists in an impacting way. Public relations professionals and consultants train members of an organization on how to conduct themselves and answer questions when speaking with the media. The goal of media training is to make the organization’s spokesperson feel confident and comfortable during interviews. Knowing how to properly communicate with the media is essential when speaking about the launch of a new product, announcing company news or when a crisis arises. It is important to maintain a positive relationship with the media. This relationship can result in obtaining media coverage much easier without having to pitch journalists as often. Media training will help you with communicating across all media formats including TV, radio, print, podcasts, vlogs, and more.
Do I need media training?
Media training is essential for any organization that obtains or seeks media coverage. Before speaking with the media, each organization should identify a spokesperson. Smaller organizations may have one spokesperson. Larger organizations may have multiple. However, it is important to train multiple members of the organization no matter who the specific spokesperson is. This will ensure the message and tone are consistent across the organization. The spokesperson typically includes the CEO, founder or the communications department.
What do I learn in media training?
The goal of communicating with the media is to speak in a way that will be remembered positively. When speaking on television, the audience will pay attention to the message, body language and facial expressions. Media training will perfect both verbal and non-verbal communication. Having the correct image goes just as far as saying the correct things.
All interactions with the media will be recorded with either a camera or tape recorder. Speaking in front of a camera for the first time can be uncomfortable and mistakes are likely to occur. During media training, trainees will participate in a mock on-camera interview. Afterward, the footage will be played back and a discussion about areas of improvement will take place. By the end of training, confidence should be obtained in regard to speaking on camera.
It is important to keep the organization’s message short, specific and tailored to its audience. Developing the organization’s specific message during media training will eliminate the possibility of ever getting misquoted.
When speaking to the media during a crisis, tough questions will be asked. Without media training, answering tough questions incorrectly can become negative media coverage. A scenario with challenging questions is created specifically related to the organization during media training. The trainee is asked tough questions and is provided with feedback. This will prepare the interviewee to be confident in answering any questions from journalists. Furthermore, media training teaches how to steer an interview from uncomfortable topics back to topics the spokesperson is comfortable speaking about. It is possible to be in control of the interview even if someone else is asking the questions.
After media training is complete, it is recommended for the organization to continue practicing. Before an interview, run through the organization’s mission and key talking points. Practice answering potential challenging questions. Organizations should participate in media training each year. Staying up to date with the media is important because the media is constantly changing. After the organization has obtained any media coverage, discussions about the interview’s performance should take place. Having consistent conversations about the media will provide for better media interactions.
Will media training help me become a better speaker and presenter as well?
Aside from perfecting interviews, media training provides skills to become a better presenter and speaker. The way someone would speak during an interview is similar to the way a presentation or speech should be conducted. When speaking publicly, it should be a comfortable conversation. Media training teaches how to prepare beforehand, staying on topic, answering questions and analyzing the conversation afterward. These lessons are directly related to becoming a better presenter and speaker as well.
Do I need to media train others within my company?
Although CEOs, founders and the communication department are common spokespeople, there may be times where other departments in the company will need to speak to the media. Situations may arise when there are too many journalists present at an event. Therefore, it is essential to have several employees media trained to be ready to answer questions.
Journalists may be interested in covering a specific department of an organization. They may request to speak specifically with the department head and not the organization’s spokesperson. If the department head has never had any past media experience, media training will provide the proper tools, tips and techniques to perfect the interview.
There should always be a backup interviewee. This person should be ready to answer questions in case the primary spokesperson becomes unavailable. Having multiple employees properly media trained will eliminate the stress of any crises happening.
Who do I contact to discuss my media training options and get started?
Email our PR client services team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options.