Our latest collection of TikTok videos featuring media training tips and insights based on our experience as providers of media coaching for law firms, financial firms, luxury brands, architects and other organisations is now available.
Here are some of the points we’ve made and the advice about doing media interviews that we’ve included in these videos.
Using Examples Without Compromising Client Confidentiality.
When we deliver media training courses to law firms, we stress the importance of using examples and case studies to illustrate and prove a point. The response is often: “But we don’t want to upset or embarrass a client.” Our video on the subject offers three ways of using a case study without doing this.
The first is to use an anonymous example (“One major corporate told us recently…”). The second way is to think up a hypothetical situation (“Say you’re a tech start-up and you want to…”) and the third is to point to an example that’s already out in the public domain, perhaps reported in the media, that you have no connection with. As we explain in this TikTok video, you could say, for example: “We saw in the recent case of XYZ plc how….”
Phrases that Journalists like to Hear.
We also looked at some phrases that lawyers, architects, financial services firms, and others could use media interviews to appeal to journalists. These include: “What we’re telling clients is….” This sounds topical, which is very important for the media, and it shows that you’re working at the coal face. It also subtly emphasises your knowledge and experience. Another phrase we mention in this TikTok video is “There’s an assumption that ABC whereas in fact, the truth is XYZ.” This challenges perception, which journalists like to do and, again, demonstrates your knowledge and insights.
Increasing the Chances of Being Quoted Correctly.
This is particularly important during print interviews, and it’s always of interest for participants in our media training courses for architects, lawyers, and other professions.
“You’re in charge of the information that you give out, and the journalist is in charge of how they use it,” we often tell our media training workshop clients. However, by being very clear on your message and thinking of the headline that you’d like to see, you’re more likely to find the final article a pleasant surprise as you’ve maintained control of the interview rather than a horrible shock. We advise interviewees to stick to that message and not get pushed off course – and we’ve got some beneficial ways of avoiding this. In our TikTok video, we also recommend that you speak slowly when delivering a key point so that the journalist realises that it is important and, however, good their shorthand, they’re more likely to be able to scribble it down accurately.
How Architects Can Get a Better Showing in an Article.
In one of our TikTok videos, we shared what we suggest in our media training courses for architects to increase the chances of getting good coverage in an article or broadcast report. The first is what we advise all our clients, whatever their profession; tell some stories. Case studies, examples and even little human anecdotes are meat and drink to journalists, so including them will increase the chances of the journalist using them. Second, you can provide an insight – what does your project tell us about the profession or society and the economy as a whole?
Thought leadership can be a bit of a cliché but offering some of it during a media interview will serve you well. If you want to get quoted in an article or broadcast package, use striking, punchy phrases. Bland corporate language just doesn’t cut it with the media. As with every aspect of media interaction, plan these, of course, rather than just throwing them into a conversation.
Media Training Myth-Busting.
In another of our TikTok videos, we have fun busting myths around media training and media coaching workshops. Media training is not an alternative to PR – rather, it complements it. We work closely with PR agencies and internal comms teams to provide a fresh pair of eyes and offer a journalist’s perspective. We help our PR clients hone and test the messages we’ve been developing, and we support their clients and colleagues to deliver them. Also, we know that not all clients are exactly a dream to work with and that not everyone in a company understands what their colleagues in the comms team can and can’t do, so we can help manage expectations and back up comms professionals.
How Can We Help?
Finally, people often think that media training is about helping spokespeople to avoid answering the question. It isn’t.
If you’re asked a question that’s relevant to you and that the audience has a reasonable expectation that you’ll answer directly, then you’d better be prepared to do so. Avoiding it won’t do you any favours. However, how you respond to it and move the conversation on is something that we can explore in our media training courses and issue management consultancy – get in touch to find out more.