Media training is no longer a good thing to have – it’s an essential business tool


In a world where soundbites and clickbait headlines are the order of the day, corporate spokespersons must be media-literate if their brands are to survive and thrive in a content-hungry world.

With social media and online news cycles running faster than the speed of thought, it is no longer possible to take hours or days to prepare statements or spokespersons. Spokespersons must be knowledgeable and prepared enough to provide feedback on the spot, when asked, no matter who asks.

Indeed, the “media” do not always present themselves as professional journalists: there are opportunities to share your brand messages in informal interactions at private events, just as there are more formal and controlled opportunities to showcase your brand.

Having a well-trained spokesperson who can provide prompt and comprehensive feedback is one of the most effective ways to build a brand’s reputation – and establish the relationships that will position the brand in good standing when (and no if) a crisis strikes.

Such relationships mean the media will get insight into the people behind the brand in times of trouble and are more likely to create neutral stories than sensationalize an issue.

Media training teaches skills that are essential beyond media relations as well – knowing how to get key messages across and answer sensitive questions in a sales or stakeholder meeting is powerful and valuable.

A solid media training offering provides more than just tips on how to land the messaging, it also offers practical skills, like learning to control and use body language to your advantage, and how to set up an interview virtual for maximum success.

AT Tribeca Public Relations, we believe there are non-negotiables that should be included in a media training service, with our own training course offering these key elements, among others:

  • An overview of the media landscape, its evolution and its present and future appearance.
  • Advice and coaching on how to frame and deliver key messages in a way that speaks to the different audiences you are targeting – without losing impact or meaning.
  • Techniques that will help you control the conversation and drive the story.
  • The basics of body language and how to handle yourself in person and online to appear believable, trustworthy and engaging.
  • Storytelling secrets and ways to make your brand message more engaging and relevant to the audiences you speak to.
  • Techniques on what to do if you are not qualified to answer certain questions.
  • Realistic interview scenarios that include exposure to experienced reporters and cameramen, to build confidence when you’re really in the spotlight.

These skills and knowledge are invaluable whether you are in front of the media, your shareholders and stakeholders, or even your wider network at a social or networking event.

If your PR agency is there to identify and create your brand’s platforms, it’s up to your spokespersons to make the most of them, both to build their reputation in good times, and to protect it. in a time of crisis.

Nicola Tarr is Business Unit Manager at Tribeca Public Relations.

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