Five Reasons Not To Overlook Media Training

Whenever brands decide to embark on their communications journey and start speaking to the media, the first thing I recommend is media training. Yes, it requires time and commitment from some of your most senior leaders, but nine times out of 10, the first thing I hear is, “I wish we did this sooner.”

Here’s why.

1. Media training allows senior leaders to clearly define key messages

How often do you get your executive leadership in one room to discuss what you want people to know about your organization? Media training workshops offer a rare and coveted focus on key messaging, allowing everyone to agree on a clearly defined set of key messages – the core of any communications program.

2. Media coaching doesn’t stop with media

Media coaching is reliant upon successful message delivery – learning how to speak in a way that people take notice. This has an affect not only with media, but also in sales, speaking opportunities and during face-to-face meetings. Media training gives spokespeople the confidence they need to talk about your organization effectively while using tone, words and body language to speak in a powerful way.

3. Understanding how media works

At Active DMC, we always save a portion of our media training workshops to go over how we work with media and the current media landscape. This is a vital practice, as it helps executives understand why we do what we do, how we do it and – most importantly – how crucial their input is in delivering solid media relations stories. It helps them understand what information we need to make their story better.

4. Taking charge of the interview

Most spokespeople are surprised to learn that they have an opportunity to change headlines. Interviews should be a two-way conversation. They should not be a repetitive question and answer session. We teach spokespeople how to tell the story that THEY want to tell. Most importantly, we teach them how to answer those tough and hard-to-answer questions through a variety of advanced techniques, allowing them to stick to the key messages and land a winning headline.

5. Practice makes perfect

Any great media coaching session will incorporate filmed rehearsal interviews, allowing spokespeople to put all their newly-learned skills into practice and the opportunity to critique the interviews together. This is when most realize how nearly impossible it is to “wing it” and develop an appreciation for the time it takes to be prepared. One of my favorite parts of media workshops is sitting together to see the improvement from the first rehearsal interview to the last.

If this hasn’t convinced you yet, then a quick Google search on “worst TV interviews” should do the trick! Sometimes, the most powerful and senior people aren’t prepared to face the media. I promise you, the investment in media training is worth every dirham.