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5 reasons why to invest in media training

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When executed well, a media interview can give you great press coverage, improving brand perception or mitigating a crisis. But handled badly, that media exposure could have a negative impact on your business’ reputation.

Even the most sure-footed spokesman can bomb an interview if they haven’t planned properly. This is where media training comes in.

What is Media Training?

Simply put, media training ensures that members of your team are taught how to behave when dealing with media interviews. Training them how to be assertive, answer questions with confidence, get key messages across and preventing any problems that could arise. While you won’t need to provide everyone with media training, certain team members should be identified and trained in this key skill.

More Important than Ever

In today’s media-saturated world, having staff who are media trained is more important than ever. It can make the difference between creating a positive public impression for your brand, or a really negative one.

Once upon a time, a bad TV interview or press interview would have only been an issue for a short while.  But with today’s 24-hour news stream, catch-up TV and social media, once something is out there, chances are, it’s out there for good. This means any faux-pas or misstep won’t disappear quickly and can get called upon at any time in the future.

So, what should be discussed in an effective media training session?

Defining your key messages

Knowing your messages – inside and out – is crucial. Media training provides the skills to identify and convey those key messages, consistently coming back to them during the interview without getting off-track.

Former Green party leader Natalie Bennett probably wished she’d spent longer going over her key messages ahead of this car crash interview:

Preparing for Difficult Questions

While many interviews can run smoothly, there are ones that can involve a difficult question or two. Failure to answer these questions with confidence could spur a journalist on to continue asking the questions.

Here, Jeff Fairburn of Persimmon Homes demonstrates how not to respond to a difficult question. His response to a tough, but entirely predictable question from BBC Look North about his bonus payout, went viral and almost certainly played a significant part in him leaving his job.

Owning the Interview

Interviews are more than a conversation. As an interviewee, the reason for being there is to deliver a certain message quickly and concisely. By being trained in working with the media, you’ll be prepared with the type of answers you can give and how to adapt those answers to what you’re being asked. Remember, there’s no such thing as being over-prepared for an interview.

Considering your Body Language

Something you may not think about when interacting with people is your body language. When answering questions from a journalist, you’ll need to come across as confident at all times. This means in your body language too. And this is something you’ll be taught in your media training.

Avoiding the Misquote

By being prepared for any type of question, you’ll be able to deliver your messages without the fear of being misquoted which is something no one wants. Media training will allow you to get a clear message across by reverting to precise points, helping to avoid the dreaded misquote.

As Stormzy’s interview with ITV last year shows, it’s only too easy to be misrepresented and for your words to be taken out of context by other media outlets.

So, if you don’t want individuals in your team becoming an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons, which could result in some negative ramifications for your business, media training is the way to go.

High-Rise Communications provide media training courses to help prepare individuals for dealing with the media. Get in touch today and find out how we can help you and your business with media training.

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