Media training is essential, especially for newbies to media interviews. A good training session will help you navigate tough questions, prepare you for the unexpected, and, overall, make you feel more comfortable when the camera starts rolling.
Media training allows spokespeople to confidently prepare for any kind of media interaction, from television and radio interviews to press conferences and more. This training covers all aspects from understanding how journalists work and think, to being ready for difficult questions, responding under pressure, and creating effective messaging. With the appropriate level of media training, companies can ensure that all their stakeholders are well-prepared to deliver a consistent message and protect their brand’s reputation.
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Q: What is media training and why is it important?
A. Media training is critical for any brand, organization or individual looking to make waves through media interviews and media outreach. Media training is the tactic PR professionals use to get a client ready for a media interview.
PR agencies should provide a media briefing in advance of any interview that includes background on the reporter and the outlet, potential topics, themes or questions based on the activities of the reporter, and an overview of conversation the PR agency has had with the reporter.
Media training sessions can also come in the form of a video or phone briefing in advance of an interview to prepare the source for potential questions and to even do a mock interview so that the person being interviewed is best prepared for their conversation in advance of going on the record with a reporter.
Q: How can a PR agency help with media training?
A. Agencies can help sources feel confident and prepared for their interviews. Because PR professionals have sat in on hundreds of interviews and have a robust understanding of the media landscape and what reporters are looking for, they know what to do—and what not to do—in an interview and can help their clients prepare.
Q: How do you decide which topics or messaging to focus on during media training?
A. The messages to prepare should follow the theme or topics a reporter or editor is looking to discuss. The worst kind of interview is one where a source appears overly promotional or reading from a script. That is why sources should consult with their PR professional or agency in advance and have a strong gameplan for when—and when not—to weave in brand messaging or other important parts of an interview. It is all about timing and tact. Be a resource first.
Q: How do I prepare for potential pitfalls that may arise in an interview with the press, such as unexpected questions or commentary?
A. It is best to work with a PR professional who can prepare you for the interview and any potential pitfalls or challenging questions that may arise. We carefully work with our clients to ensure that they feel comfortable and prepared. For clients who participate in more robust media training sessions, we provide detailed tips for how to bridge during an interview, how and when to steer a conversation away from a topic, when to know when no comment is the best response, and more.
Talk to us today to learn more about what we can do for your brand to drive awareness and help you find the honey jar you’ve been looking for with all the other agencies and campaigns you’ve run before. It’s time for some real organic honey.
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