“This business of saying the same thing over and over and over again – which to a lot of Washington insiders and pundits is boring – works.” – Michael Deaver, Deputy Chief of Staff, President Reagan
No one I have ever met or trained enjoys media training. I have heard it compared to having a root canal – and most would pick the root canal over media training. But, more so than ever in today’s fast-paced, news-oriented world, it is a necessity.
Allen Mireless points out in a Cision blog post, “Our world is so connected that a person’s words, voice and video can travel worldwide in a matter of seconds. Sometimes for good, sometimes with dire consequences.”
Why should you be media trained?
- To speak in a clear, concise way that delivers your key messages in a way that the media will use
- To have thought through any difficult issues and have prepared, thoughtful responses
- To learn how to “take control” of the interview; and
- To become more at ease with being interviewed.
In other words, you want to avoid dire consequences.
You and only you can tell your company’s story. If you don’t tell your story, someone else will do it for you – and it won’t be the story you want.
Carmine Gallo makes a great point this Forbes article, “If companies go silent, negative stories take a life of their own and create misconceptions that are very hard to change.”
Being trained to talk to the media helps you become part of the conversation instead of the subject of the conversation. You can help guide the discussion from the beginning – not to misinform but to ensure that your points are made.
What does it take to successfully handle media interviews? Simply put: preparation.
- Know who you are speaking with and what publication they represent. Read previous articles by the reporter so you can have an idea of what they cover and how they report on issues.
- Anticipate questions and prepare key messages
- Practice delivering key messages including learning how to bridge from a question to one of your key messages
- What does the reporter want to cover?
In her article “5 Reasons Why You Need to Get Media Training,” Catriona Pollard talks about one of the benefits of being successful at media interviews: “And when you are an effective spokesperson, the media will return to you again and again for expert commentary on your area of expertise.”
We have seen this proven true time and again.
When was the last time you were media trained? If the answer is never or a long time ago, give us a call and we can arrange a refresher or in-depth session to get you camera-ready in no time.