Why should brands invest in media training?
One of our clients, CoachHub – a digital coaching platform – recently approached us to host a media training session for three Australian spokespeople.
The purpose of media training is to work with someone who may be speaking to media on behalf of a brand or themselves (phone or in-person, pre-recorded or live) to develop and refine their communication skills. It is necessary training for anyone who deals with the media, including corporate business, non-profit, start-ups and even small business.
Media training is designed to ensure the spokespeople for a brand are prepared and ready to talk to media anytime they may be approached for interview or comment, as it can be easy for someone to get nervous and lose sight of key messages when speaking with a journalist, or with a camera or microphone in front of them. These nerves can put the brand’s reputation in a risky place by saying the wrong thing or diverting from the key messaging.
But why should brands speak to the media in the first place?
Interviews with media offer opportunities to promote a brand, such as CoachHub, and the services or products they offer to a new audience and potentially new customers. In this instance, it allows us as the PR agency to position CoachHub and key spokespeople as leaders and authoritative voices in business, coaching and HR. It also provides an opportunity to promote CoachHub in an indirect way by commenting on relevant topics in the news, for example, The Great Resignation.
This opportunity for exposure and promotion is why investing in media training can be vital for your brand and the key spokespeople in the business.
Our media training program highlights how to communicate with media in different forums and platforms of journalism, which can differ significantly. Be it print, digital, radio, podcast or pre-record or live TV, each medium brings a different set of challenges. Even across one medium, different programs or interviewers can have a very different approach. For example, the tone and presentation on TODAY on Channel 9 will be different to an interview on A Current Affair, or on Channel 10’s The Project.
We also give you an insight to better understand the media landscape and how we work with the media as your PR agency and representatives.
Media training prepares you to be interview-ready at all times – how to respond to questions and present yourself when speaking with the press. This includes how to answer unexpected questions (you never know when an interviewer could throw you a curveball!). Our program includes a mock interview which is filmed for review afterwards. It can be eye-opening to see the small ticks and habits we demonstrate when feeling uncomfortable that really stand out to an audience – we want to ensure your interview is memorable for what you are saying, not how you said it. Watching back a practice interview gives our spokespeople the opportunity to correct any nervous habits.
Here are some do’s and don’ts that we shared with CoachHub:
- Don’t assume you can trust the interviewer – nothing is ‘off the record’ and quotes may be used out of context
- Don’t say ‘No comment’
- Don’t ‘guess’ – if you don’t know the answer, say so, or refer question for follow-up by your PR agency
- Don’t volunteer negative information
- Don’t speculate or lie
- Don’t use ‘jargon’ if possible. If necessary, provide a definition at the first mention
- Do speak clearly and slowly
- Do be yourself
- Do be enthusiastic (when appropriate) and stay positive
- Do re-iterate your key messages
- Do prepare – read the media brief and and pre-prepared questions (if relevant)
- Do find ways to relate your brand back to the topic of discussion
If you like what you’re reading and are in the position to seek out media training and how to communicate better with the press, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org