How do I Engage with a Journalist Effectively?
Essentially, to engage with a journalist, give them a good story – it’s a simple as that! Suppose you can offer them something relevant to the target audience that those readers, viewers, or listeners didn’t previously know. In that case, a journalist will be happy to talk to you. In our Media Training sessions, we look at what makes a story, what interests journalists and how they handle an issue to turn it into a report for the BBC, the Financial Times, the Daily Mail or the Manchester Evening News – whatever the outlet might be.
Journalists also like what they call “good talkers”. As a journalist, you’re often looking for somebody who can add value to your story. This might be by providing more information or offering an exciting insight or explanation. Journalists will want to engage with you if you can give this alongside some stories, case studies and even simple anecdotes to back up your points.
They also appreciate people who return their calls quickly. The days of the traditional deadline in the newspaper industry are gone, but journalists are under more pressure than ever to provide information quickly. So, the faster you come back to the journalist with relevant details expressed in a punchy, simple, concise way and underpinned with examples and case studies, the better.
In our Media Training coaching, we work with PR companies and in-house comms teams to prepare people to deal with the tactics of doing a media interview to ensure they gain more control of it. As the leading Media Training consultancy for lawyers and the number one provider of Media Training courses for architects, we’re particularly focused on helping with preparation and with the use of case studies.
What Are My Training Options?
As an agile, niche Media Training consultancy, we can provide you with almost any option to fit your training needs, timetable and budget. If you want to do a two-hour session online and then come back the following week to practice what you’ve learned, we can arrange that for you. Because we provide a lot of Media Training courses for law firms and financial services firms where calendars are bustling, we can deliver a general media training session with the theory of doing media interviews for a group and then book an hour-long one-to-one session with the participants whenever suits them to put these ideas into practice.
During these one-to-one Media Training workshops, we’ll put the participants through role-play press, radio and TV interviews and then provide them with feedback and coaching afterwards.
On the other hand, if you want to train one person or 100 people, we can create a suitable course for your needs and budget. We work face-to-face or via Zoom and Teams. We’re based in London but work internationally, and time zones are no problem. Recently we’ve worked with a tech company on the West Coast of the US and a law firm based in Singapore.
Because we’re agile and have a flat structure, we can deliver what you want, when you want and at a price that suits you. You’ll get the media training and all the pre-and post-course support you want.
Clients particularly like working with us because they know that the person they speak to design the course is the person who goes on to deliver it, so they get exactly what they asked for.
What are The Benefits of Media Training?
Of course, anybody can speak to a journalist or do a media interview at any time. In the same way, anybody could get into a car for the first time and have a go at driving it or attempt to cater for a dinner party when they’ve had little or no experience of cooking. You can do something – or you can do it well.
As we say in our Media Training workshops, dealing with the media includes risks and benefits. Many of the participants in our courses will tell us that they’ve had experiences with journalists which have not been great. The benefits of Media Training are that you will gain greater control over the media interview, mitigating the risks and massively increasing the upside of any media engagement.
We’ll help you prepare for your media interview with a range of practical, efficient techniques. We’ll give you insights into how journalists think and work and what they might ask you. Other benefits to Media Training include dealing with difficult questions and maintaining control of the interview. With our broadcast media training sessions, we look at everything from what to wear, to where to look, to how to do a good Zoom or Teams media interview and how to use vocal skills, facial expressions and body language to enhance your messages and to improve the impact that you make on your audience.
What is Media Training?
Interestingly we’ve never seen a dictionary definition of Media Training, but here are some ideas about what it offers. Media Training involves learning a set of skills that will allow you to minimise the risks when engaging with the media and maximise the opportunities that a media interview presents. Media Training is about content – what you say, the words to use, the examples you provide, and how you structure your message. For us at Communicate Media, preparation is at the core of Media Training. We provide our course participants with tips and advice on preparing quickly and effectively for a media interview.
We also work with our clients to help them find answers to difficult questions, explain challenging decisions that they’ve had to make, mistakes that they’ve been guilty of and manage crisis situations.
As well as content, media training also includes advice on delivery and body language. During our Media Training sessions, we show people how to use their voice to ensure they come across as friendly and engaging yet authoritative and compelling during a radio interview. We provide Media Training sessions for lawyers, architects and financial services firms, and we’ll advise them on what to wear when doing a TV interview. This means choosing the right colours, avoiding distracting jewellery and generally looking good on the screen.
Good communication is based on sincerity, empathy, and authority. Overall, whether it’s Media Training, presentation training or crisis communications training, we help participants tick these three essential boxes.
What Should I Expect from my Media Training Course?
You can expect never to read an article or watch the news in the same way again.
The people who do our media training courses always tell us how much they enjoyed learning about how journalists work and what goes on behind the scenes in the media they consume.
You’ll be challenged during our courses as we put you through authentic, role-play press, radio, and TV interviews. We will ask you some tough questions, especially if you’ve asked us to advise you on crisis communications or handling a complex issue. But we will always provide you with the tools and techniques to manage these questions, and, very importantly, all of our Media Training workshops are delivered in a supportive way. We work hard, but we can guarantee that you’ll have fun as well!
Another essential thing to expect from your Media Training course is to learn skills that are useful not just for talking to journalists. The participants on our courses both learn and refresh general business communications techniques. Whether they’re talking to colleagues, customers, suppliers or regulators, they know how to get their message across succinctly, use storytelling techniques to engage and inspire their audiences and tackle difficult questions.
Whether it’s a presentation, a zoom session or a morning meeting of the team, they also tell us that they’ve improved their delivery skills and their confidence when talking to others.
Why is Media Training Important?
Media Training is essential because doing a media interview involves risks as well as rewards. We can all think of people who have spoken to journalists and ended their careers, damaged their brands and seen their share price collapse as a result.
We provide Media Training for lawyers, so we know how risk-averse many clients are. What is interesting, though, is what they think will mitigate the risk during a media interview is not always the case. Instead, we can provide law firm partners, architects and those running financial services firms or retail houses, to name but a few, with techniques that will increase the chances of them being delighted with the coverage they get on television, radio or print – rather than seeing it as a horrible shock.
Media Training Based in London
Contact us at Communicate Media Training today to ensure you as an individual or an organisation is prepared for every eventuality regarding media interviews, presentations and crises.
Call: + 44 (0)7958 239892