Media training is invaluable for anyone preparing to engage with the media for the first time and for more experienced business leaders or spokespeople looking to sharpen their skills.
The training focuses on two core areas: 1) how to deliver your messages effectively without being tripped up 2) the messages you are trying to communicate.
It is easy to focus on the first element without thinking enough about the second. But you need to be able to articulate the essence of your organisation, explaining its values and its purpose. That may sound straightforward, but it’s not so easy when you are doing a three-minute interview on live television.
Live broadcast interviews are daunting – understandably, people worry about slipping up and inadvertently damaging their reputation. But they also give you an unfiltered connection with your audience.
That is why training is so important. If you make the most of the opportunity that can be a very powerful business tool.
During a media training session, you will learn how to prepare for interviews; deal with tricky interview questions that could derail you; and to develop an authentic voice for TV and Radio.
Here are some of the key subjects we will cover in a media training session.
Broadcasters used to insist on conducting interviews in their studios whenever possible, but the pandemic has changed that. It is now just as common to see interviews conducted over platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams and you need to be prepared for both formats.
If you look amateurish then viewers will sub-consciously assume you are amateurish and take what you are saying less seriously – however unfair that might be.
Another common interview format is “down the line” – you are interviewed on camera but the presenter is in a studio elsewhere and you can only hear them but not see them. You need to practise for this as it is a different scenario from a face-to-face interviewer.
When preparing for radio interviews, it is important to remember that the lines between video and audio have been blurred. Many broadcasters livestream their radio shows on YouTube or other platforms so you are, in effect, being televised.
A specialist media trainer will educate you about the different formats, giving you the confidence to take on these varied opportunities.
Generally, interviewers want the interview to go well – if you are flustered, monosyllabic or inarticulate it doesn’t make for good television or radio. So, they are on your side.
However, few of us are comfortable on camera and in a quickfire interview, the rapid back and forth of questions can be disconcerting even if you are an experienced interviewee. We teach you how to deal with the pressure, stay calm and deliver your key messages.
You also need to be prepared for difficult questions or questions you would be prefer not to be asked. Some might be directly related to your organisation or business – about CSR issues, for example – or others might relate to tricky issues in your sector more generally.
Media training gives you the skills and techniques to respond to tricky questions whilst bridging back to your key messages.
A more common problem for many interviewees is losing their thread because the line of questioning takes them away from their key messages. We teach how to bring the interview back to the subjects you want to discuss – so it delivers real value.
Understanding the mindset of journalists and how the media works is essential so you do not come across as naïve. Understandably, many people have an innate suspicion of the media and a fear of being misrepresented.
Our media trainers have real-world experience of the media. They have worked at a senior level on national newspapers and with international broadcasters so the advice they give is based on decades of first-hand knowledge.
Our sessions will help you to answer these key questions:
- How do journalists operate?
- What do journalists want from you?
- What makes a good story?
- What are the rules of engagement?
- How can you build relationships with journalists?
Having the right messages for your interview is critical. Unless you know what you are trying to communicate and how you will convey your messages convincingly you are setting yourself up for failure.
Part of the media training focuses on honing your messages for a media interview format, which is very different from appearing on a conference panel, or presenting to investors or prospective business partners.
You will typically do two mock interviews during the session, which normally takes place in a studio setting. All our sessions are bespoke so the interviews will be directly relevant to your organisation, whether you are trying to raise its profile or preparing for a crisis issue which could play out in the media.
Media training gives you the chance to prepare in a safe environment, watching back your interviews and learning what you are doing well and where you need to improve. You will then feel better equipped to take on media interviews for real.
Half-day sessions can be done individually or in groups of up to four. We also offer follow-up or top-up sessions to build on the initial training or to prepare for specific interview scenarios which might come up after the session.