Why You Need Media Training
July 21, 2015
Imagine this… A local TV station has included you in a story about your organization. You’re pretty happy because you think you presented yourself and your points reasonably well. So, you’ve gathered family and friends to watch the six o’clock news and you experience one of the following scenarios…
- You’re not in the story. Not at all.
- Everyone is commenting on how you look, sound or act, but they miss what you’re saying.
- Your words come across in a way that you had not intended. In the worst case, you seem to be saying something inappropriate or controversial.
Not good. Could these scenarios have been avoided? Absolutely…with some media training to prepare you to communicate through the media.
The key is to be prepared.
You need to understand the rules of the game. Even though many things are changing due to technology and social media, when it comes to preparing spokespersons to do media interviews, the fundamentals really haven’t changed. That’s true whether the interview is for print, broadcast or web-based media. And, it’s true if the news is good or bad.
More than the dos and don’ts.
You need to master the dos and don’ts, but you also need to know how to prepare, how to retain some control, how to avoid traps and pitfalls and how to handle negatives. And, media training doesn’t just prepare you for conducting interviews. It helps you get beyond the myths and misconceptions and teaches you how to interact with reporters, bloggers, producers, editors and the technical people who work with them.
Think twice about what you need.
Some people avoid media training because they think they don’t need it. They don’t realize that talking to reporters is not like talking to other people. There are too many potential pitfalls that could cost you your reputation. Why not learn the rules and strategies that will help you succeed?
There’s nothing to fear.
Some people avoid media training because of fear. This puzzles me. Why not make your mistakes in a safe, educational environment rather than in the glare of a public media spotlight?
The investment will pay dividends.
Don’t wait until you get caught off guard. Don’t wait until there’s an embarrassing photo of you covering a camera lens on the front page of the newspaper. Don’t wait until you have to excuse your behaviour by saying that you haven’t been for media training. If you might be dealing with people in the media, I think it’s very wise to have a good understanding of their world. Media training is time well invested.