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10 ways to make the most of Media Training
November 7, 2022

We want everyone who takes part in our media training courses to get the most out of them. That’s why, for instance, we send out pre-course questionnaires so that we can find out more about your aims for the course and ensure that it meets your requirements. This, by the way, is one of the advantages of being an agile, niche agency – unlike some of the big Media Training consultants, we don’t just provide a commoditised, one-size-fits-all Media Training course – everything we do is created to meet your exact needs and by the person who will be delivering your course.

Here are 10 ways to make the most of Media Training.

1. Remember that it’s more than just Media Training.

As we point out during our media coaching workshops, the skills and techniques that will teach you and help you to practice in a safe environment are not just good for dealing with media interviews. Our participants tell us they find them very useful for general business communication – whether talking to colleagues, customers, suppliers or other audiences.

2. Be prepared to be challenged!

Taking part in a media interview can be a scary experience.

Because we ensure that the interviews that we carry out during our Media Training courses are as realistic as possible, there are times when we will push you outside your comfort zone. We make no apologies for that because it is realistic. However, as course participants tell us, we do so only after giving them the tools and techniques they need and providing feedback in a supportive and constructive way.

3. Decide beforehand what you want to talk about during the course.

Again, with our pre-course questionnaires, we have a good idea of what people want to be interviewed about in our role-play media interviews. We often have to finesse the subject to make them more realistic, given that all our media trainers are working journalists operating under strict nondisclosure agreements. However, having an idea of what you want to be interviewed about is always helpful.

4. Think about stories you have seen recently in the media that have got your attention.

In our Media Training workshops, we usually start by looking at what it is that makes a story and how journalists work. We have a useful little acronym and professional insights developed over many years to help here. Understanding the ingredients of a strong media story is good for preparation. Also, for building confidence, it helps our course participants understand the nature of the beast they’re dealing with. We don’t mind your story or where you’ve seen it; we just want to help you use it to understand where journalists are coming from and what they’re thinking when they’re interviewing you.

5. Don’t be embarrassed about hearing your voice or seeing yourself on the screen.

We freely admit this is one of the most toe-curling elements of a media training course. No normal human being likes to see themselves on television and, as one of our colleagues who has worked in radio for many years, tells us – if you like the sound of your own voice, don’t work in radio. However, given that helping our course participants to develop confidence is a vital part of our media coaching, we remind them that they are the only ones who are embarrassed about hearing their voices coming out of the radio speaker, and the other participants who are watching them on the screen are only interested in hearing what they’re saying.

6. Be prepared to make mistakes.

Although our role-play press, radio/podcast and TV/YouTube interviews are realistic, and our media trainers will ask you exactly the same questions in precisely the same way as they would in their day job as journalists, this is an entirely safe space. As we explain to people in our courses, it’s an excellent opportunity to try out some messages, words, and phrases to see how they work. As experienced journalists working alongside in-house comms teams and PR agencies, we can give constructive feedback so that you’ll know what will work and what is better left unsaid when you come to do an interview in the real world.

7. Regard every media interview as an opportunity.

We say this during our media interview training, but it’s worth making the point here too. People often go into media interviews assuming they simply have to acquit themselves and say as little as possible. We provide Media Training for lawyers, and we see this in particular with law firms. At the start of the day, our interviewees assume that the less they say during the interview, the better it will go for them; however, as the course progresses, they soon realise that as the expert, they can lead the interview and that taking the initiative to get their messages across rather than leaving control with the journalist is actually safer and produces a better outcome for them.

8. Get ready to tell some stories.

As all of our media trainers will tell you, a large part of Media Training is about encouraging interviewees to identify and tell good stories. Journalists love examples, case studies and even simple human anecdotes. Very often, one of the first questions that a journalist will ask you will be, “Can you give me an example of that?”. The better your examples and the more vivid and engaging your storytelling, the better an interviewee you will be. It’s a win-win for you and the journalist. We provide specialist media training for law firms, media interview courses for financial services firms, and media coaching for architecture practices. We know how important client confidentiality is. That’s why we’ve developed several techniques that allow you to tell stories without embarrassing your clients.

9. Look at the news in a different way.

Participants of our Media Training courses almost always leave saying that they will never watch the TV news and read websites in the same way again. Having given them insight into what makes a story, how journalists work and what makes a good media interview, they tell us that they will watch, listen to and read the news in a way that gives them a better understanding of the news business works.

10. Look for opportunities to put what we’ve taught you into practice.

Although we challenge the participants of our Media Training courses, almost all of them feel empowered to do media interviews, and most say that they will look for new opportunities. It’s excellent for the in-house comms teams and the PR agencies that we work so closely with to have a group of colleagues who are not only ready to speak to a journalist but, thanks to their new insights about what makes a media story; they’re also in an excellent position to provide their media teams with ideas that those PR professionals can pitch to journalists, thereby helping to create positive media coverage for their organisations.

Journalism Courses

When speaking to a journalist, you will want to be as prepared as possible. This means not only preparing your points beforehand but ensuring that you have covered every little detail. To do this, you should partake in Media Training.  Call 07958 239892, email gareth@communicatemedia.com or fill in this contact form to book your course today.

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