Like everything else in society, the Coronavirus is having a profound effect on the news business.
In particular demand for news, which has seen a slow decline over the last few years has suddenly experienced a significant spike. The BBC News Channel, for instance, has enjoyed its largest weekly audience since 2015. Meanwhile, Channel 4 News viewership has nearly doubled over the last 10 days, according to PressGazette.
The reason for these sudden jumps is obvious – in these uncertain times people want to know what’s going on. More importantly, they want to know what to do. As we point out in our media training courses the “What’s In It For Me?” me factor is huge during any kind of interviews. Now, more than ever, people want news they can use.
Increased demand for news that is authoritative and practical means increased demand by news organisations – press, radio and TV – for spokespeople. Journalists, editors and producers are looking for people who can fill their screens with information that their audiences can trust and make use of.
That’s why we’re seeing a massive growth, suddenly, of demand for our virtual media training courses. Even before the current crisis we’ve been delivering more and more media courses on how to do press, radio and TV interviews by phone and Skype. We do a lot of media training courses for lawyers, in particular, plus those in the fashion, leisure and food business and so it’s hardly surprising that demand for our services has been growing rapidly over the last few days.
We took a call from a client yesterday evening who’d just had a senior spokesperson booked to do an early morning broadcast. Within ten minutes of the call coming in we were doing the media training course via Zoom, developing and testing messages and polishing up delivery.
Because we’re a niche agency we can act more quickly and in a more agile manner than the larger corporate media training consultancies. With Communicate Media, the person you speak to in order create your own bespoke course is the person who then delivers that course.
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If you or your company require professional advice on writing statements, get in touch by giving us a call on 0800 1777080 or emailing us or to find out more about our media training, crisis communications and presentation courses.
Here are some top tips for doing media interviews remotely:
- As always, think about the audience and, in particular, at the moment, what you want them to do with the information you’re giving them
- Again, as with any media interview, think about your key message. What’s the one headline or take away. In these times of crisis when journalists are under pressure to turn things around quickly, the easier and simpler you can make it for them the better
- Make sure that you’ve got a quiet space, away from distractions
- If you’re doing a phone interview, stand up – it’ll give you more confidence and energy. You’ll literally and figuratively be on your toes
- For Skype and Zoon TV interviews check your background. Remove anything that could be embarrassing or distracting. In fact, take the time to dress you set a bit with flowers, books or pictures. Make sure they’re tasteful but neutral
- Put the lights on. Make your “set” light and bright but ensure that you’re not sitting under a harsh, downward lamp. Better to bounce desk lamps off a wall behind you
- Make sure that your computer is high enough so that the audience isn’t looking up your nose
- It feels unnatural but look into the computer’s camera, rather than fixing on the screen. Then imagine that you’re talking to a friend or an intelligent 14-year-old who’s interested in what you’re saying but perhaps needs a little persuasion
- Invest in a good quality microphone
- As always, once your interview has been broadcast or publish share it on your socials