By Tara Bishop, Communications Strategist
It’s not uncommon for business and organizational leaders of all experience levels to feel on edge when approached for media interviews. Even the most seasoned media expert will occasionally feel those dreaded “butterflies.” The key to controlling nerves and remaining laser-focused on messaging is practice. While that sounds basic, structured media training provides the preparation and confidence that produce natural and effective responses to any question posed by a media representative.
Media training with a public relations professional is recommended for any owner, employee, or representative of a business or organization who is likely to provide media statements. While this is typically anyone in management, some front-line staff of businesses, including restaurants and retail outlets, are often approached during crises and newsworthy events or times of the year.
Dedicating time and attention to media training provides a variety of benefits. First, it helps determine organizational messaging or solidify it if it already exists. While the person being trained inherently knows the information behind the messaging, he or she likely hasn’t spoken it succinctly. Taking time to practice elevator pitches, or quick, high-level descriptions of an organization and its impact, make them easier to communicate when occasions arise.
Training also offers an opportunity to strategically prepare for potential questions that may be more challenging to tackle. A media trainer will pose sample questions of varying difficulty to test responses and help tweak them as necessary. Best practices for taking control of those types of probing questions – while remaining open and honest – are also reviewed. Part of this process includes crisis communication planning, so the trainee is always ready to provide reliable and trustworthy messaging despite the type of news story being covered.
Another media training benefit is accessing tips for preparing for video interviews via computer or mobile device and how to stay focused and on-message during phone interviews – along with handling last-minute media requests nimbly and successfully.
With each effective media interview comes the opportunity for another, thanks to the expertise and ease demonstrated by the interviewee. While this increases individual media experience and confidence, it also elevates brand awareness and positions the represented business or organization as an industry resource.
If you are interested in targeted media training for yourself or your employees, contact Just Flow Events & Marketing for more information.