Media Training is simply a way of giving those in the public eye the vital tools they need to tell their story effectively to the public. Companies, organizations and public figures already know the importance of their public reputations. Many hire public relations companies to supplement their own staff’s efforts at driving more media interest in their products, services or capabilities. Media Training insures that when reporters do call, executives and spokespeople they speak with are fully prepared to deliver.
So why can’t spokespeople, CEO’s, researchers, elected and appointed officials and others simply tell their stories and let the chips fall where they may? The results of that approach are exactly why so many in the public arena are afraid to get within 50 yards of a reporter. Misquotes, misunderstandings and worse are the price of a lack of knowledge about the media and how it operates.
So what is learned in media training? There are three basics any good media training should provide:
1. How to deliver a message:
If you’re going to be effective with the media, you have to learn about developing and delivering messages. Reporters aren’t interested in making their subjects look good-they’re interested in getting a story. Messaging shows you how to meet both your needs and the needs of the reporter.
2. How to get quoted:
The media regularly conduct interviews that never see the light of day because the subject wasn’t quotable. Media Training shows you how to become a quotable source for reporters, thereby increasing the scope and the quality of your coverage.
3. What different reporters need to tell your story effectively:
The media, be they print or broadcast, work in definable ways. Understanding the rules increases your effectiveness and your control over what gets covered and how it gets covered.
Any effective media training teaches these skills by putting trainees through a variety of paces. That takes realistic scenarios and mock interviews of all kinds: television; radio; print and on-line mediums. Trade and industry reporters may be interested in different things than wire service reporters or television reporters. A good media trainer understands those differences and prepares trainees for the kinds of media they’re most likely to be dealing with.
Finally, Media Training trains executives and spokespeople for the art of the public statement. It gives companies, organizations and individuals the confidence to know how to tell their stories most effectively to the world. And what organization couldn’t use that kind of enhanced communication skill when the media knocks on their door?
Aileen Pincus is President of The Pincus Group, a media training firm near Washington DC. A former local and national television reporter, Senior Hill Staffer and communications executive, Aileen and her staff train corporate, government and non-profit executives in the art of communications. She can be reached at www.thepincusgroup.com.