At Communicate Media, we provide media training courses for the clients of a wide range of public relations agencies. We also work with the in-house media relations teams of retailers, tech firms, law firms, fashion brands, travel companies and climate change organisations, among others. One question that frequently comes up when we talk to public relations executives or in-house press officers about our courses is, “What are the benefits of media training?”
We know how hard comms professionals work to secure interviews with journalists in relevant media outlets. Because all of our media trainers are also working journalists (operating under strict nondisclosure agreements), they also know how an interviewee can fail to deliver an effective interview and, therefore forfeit the chance of some great coverage. Good Media Training is all about ensuring this doesn’t happen and increasing the chances that the interviews that PR companies and media relations teams arrange for their clients and colleagues go well.
Here are three ways media training can improve the outcomes for organisations, particularly their PR consultancies and in-house communications teams.
1. The interviewee will know what the journalist is looking for.
In our media training courses, we talk to participants about what makes a media story and what journalists look for during an interview. We also work closely with public relations professionals and in-house Comms teams to share the raw materials of a good media story with potential interviewees. This can help them convey their key messages when they’re interviewed by a journalist.
Very often, an interview fails to result in positive coverage because the interviewee’s comments are simply not newsworthy. By understanding what will make a story for the media and what won’t, participants in our Media Training workshops have a better chance of getting good coverage.
2. The interviewee will be able to gain greater control of the interview.
When we first carry out role-play media interviews in our Media Training courses for lawyers, for instance, the assumption among the participants is usually that the journalist should be making, running and leading the interview. As the course progresses, though, they soon realise that they can take the initiative as the experts. This means that when lawyers or anyone else who has done our Media Training and we provide Media Training workshops for retailers, Media Training for fashion brands, and Media Training for tech companies, among others, they will be able to set out their stall at the beginning of the interview, thereby gaining more control and tilting the balance of power towards them and away from the journalist.
They’ll be able to work more closely with their PR company or in-house media relations team. Not only will they be able to do a better interview if they’ve done one of our media training courses, but they’ll also be able to help the comms team or public relations professionals by identifying potential good media stories from their day-to-day work that those media professionals can develop and pitch to target journalists.
“I didn’t realise that there were so many interesting things happening in the company,” one media relations executive told us in one of the media training courses for retailers that we recently ran. “I’ve got lots of good ideas now for meetings that I’m having with journalists next week.”
On the other hand, whenever we run crisis communications training courses for retailers or crisis workshops for law firms, PR companies and in-house media relations experts frequently pick up on potentially tricky questions, risks and issues that could blow up into a crisis. This means that not only are they prepared to handle a media storm should these crises occur, but it also means that their colleagues are aware of what could end up being, if not a crisis situation, at least an unpleasant media story.
3. Media Training means at home interviewees can avoid getting drawn into difficult or controversial areas.
Every encounter with the media implies a risk. Yes, as a public relation professional or press officer, you hope to get favourable coverage when a client or colleague speaks to a journalist. But there is always the possibility that they might say something that results in negative coverage, or they might find themselves being drawn by the journalist into a risky area, which results in them saying something they shouldn’t.
Effective Media Training can mitigate this risk. When we provide media interview training for law firms, we know that we are working with people who are very much risk averse. Similarly, we also provide Media Training for luxury brands – another sector where control over media coverage is essential. In our Media Training workshops, we provide a range of tools and techniques bespoke to each sector and each issue that enables course participants to avoid getting drawn into controversial areas and to return to their key messages. Done well, this can sound natural, human and seamless. Good media training is all about identifying these problematic questions, developing answers to them, and enabling spokespeople to find the words and phrases that they need to move from the former to the latter.
Media Training Courses
Media training can also improve business communications generally by ensuring that people think about their audiences, that they get across their messages in emails or phone calls succinctly, and that they use examples and proof points wherever possible.
If you’d like to know more about the benefits of media training and how media interview workshops can help public relations companies and press officers, then please get in touch by calling 07958 239892 or emailing email@example.com.
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