Why 'train' before speaking to media?
Every actor, athlete, musician, and other professionals practise repeatedly before they step in front of an audience.
Yet for some reason, many people approach media differently.
Consider for a moment that whatever is said or done can reach millions: every customer, potential customer, your employees, suppliers, governments, competitors, social media - literally almost every audience.
Downside risks of a mistake can be catastrophic, as many ex-executives have discovered.
Media training can help you learn from those mistakes of others, plus how to prepare and practise - whether you choose to enter the court of public opinion or it chooses to find you.
It's not about spin, lying or avoiding questions. It’s also not about how to look great in front of a camera.
Instead, good media training helps you bring your own strengths to the interview, prepare for the toughest questions, and prepare what you need to get across.
In the best cases, it can dramatically enhance your reputation and those you represent.
Media training teaches you what can happen in any interview, to even veterans who thought they were ready to step into the public eye.
We’ll discuss actual cases of where things have gone terribly wrong, plus explain differences between print and broadcast media, including scrums, media tours, video conferencing, telephone and spot-news interviews.
Most importantly, we teach you how to control what you say and do, giving you more confidence to go into even the most difficult interviews.
Who should be trained?
Anyone who speaks with media on behalf of your company or organization should be trained. Reporters want access to top executives, though others in the organization might also be in contact.
The best advice is to train several people who can be ready when needed.
How will I know a good media trainer?
Always choose someone with working experience as a journalist, preferably in both print and broadcast.
Better yet, find someone who’s worked in all types of media and public affairs, familiar with each side of the challenge.
You need someone who knows how all media work, where stories can go, and has case experience from every angle.
Look for someone to support your team who's familiar with business, plus will take time to learn about you and your unique issues.
Finally, you also might want a trainer with strong relationships who can work with your team for the long term - before each time you want to reach out to media, or a crisis brings media looking for you.
How does a typical session work?
These hands-on workshops are usually one-on-one sessions or for small groups.
They generally start with some role-play interviews to introduce common themes and best practices. This is followed by a discussion and videos of actual cases of failure and success, with direct tips on how to prep for interviews.
As a former reporter and trainer of numerous executives, my emphasis is to teach by doing, getting each participant comfortable with their strengths and what media interviews are all about. The key is to learn how to prepare, get your message across and story told, no matter what circumstances could arise.
From there, each session focuses on specific examples relevant to your business or organization. Some trainers have a standard approach to training, where one size fits all. Yet each client has unique issues and opportunities, so it's important to spend as much time to prepare for training as in the workshop itself.
What makes you different from other trainers?
Each training session is unique and tailored to your needs.
When you work with me, you work with an award-winning former business and investigative reporter with experience in print, broadcast and social media, plus national public affairs. That includes 20 years’ experience interviewing for stories and 15 years preparing others for interviews.
I have long relationships with many media across the country, plus strong background in media law and ethics, based on past investigative reporting and senior roles in national media groups.
My network includes more than 5,000 social media connections, plus many thousands of others who I've interviewed, worked with, or trained during my career.
Where do we train?
Usually a small meeting room with a TV is all that’s required. This can be at your office, a room in a hotel or any other location you choose.
I bring my own digital TV camera and don’t overcharge for overpriced studio space or gear. I can also run sessions by phone or online.
What do we get?
Each trainee receives a handout that summarizes the session, PowerPoint and video of their sample interviews.
How much does it cost?
When I work with a client, hours are spent to prep and research before the training session itself. There are no extra costs for studio space, equipment, make-up or other unnecessary frills. If you like, a non-disclosure and service agreement also can be signed to suit your needs.
For a quote for your session, please contact me.