By Darby Dame, Public Relations Manager – Crisis & Reputation
Considering a media training can leave executives and entrepreneurs feeling many different emotions – excitement, challenged, energized, intimidated and more. If there’s one way for communication professionals like us to summarize participating in a media training exercise, it would be: worth your while.
What is a media training you might ask? In simple terms, it’s a specialized form of communication training for interacting with key stakeholder groups. Traditionally and more literally, it allows professionals to learn how to effectively communicate with media during interviews. However, the fundamentals and practice provided during a training session is helpful in all types of message delivery such as presentations, speaking engagements, investor announcements and important information for both internal and external audiences.
At Lambert, we’ve coordinated trainings for businesses across numerous different industries and time zones – all unique to each client. Depending on your specific needs and interests, we offer higher-level, half-day sessions for groups, more in-depth full-day sessions, and even one-on-one trainings.
Here are our top five reasons why you should consider media training:
1) To gain an understanding of important communication fundamentals.
While communication and message delivery seem like simple tasks we take on each day, there are always factors at play that can send mixed or incorrect messages. As an example, it can be difficult to predict what a reporter might ask you during a “make or break” interview. During a media training, you’ll be provided with fundamental tools in strategically communicating with your stakeholder audiences.
2) To succeed in effectively delivering your message.
There’s a difference between participating in an interview and effectively delivering the message you want stakeholder audiences to take away from it. Whether you’re getting ready to launch a new fitness product and have a deskside interview scheduled with Women’s Health, or you’re about to deliver a difficult organizational update to employees – the goal is to leave that interview or conversation with confidence that you drove your key messages as a result.
3) To productively answer the really tough questions.
When you manage others, have an external-facing role at a public company, or work in any communication setting, you’re going to get questions that you might not be able to answer, or perhaps not want to answer for a specific reason. While tough questions are inevitable, media training can be key in addressing them while mitigating any internal or external reputational risk. You’ve probably seen it in action during a TV interview with a politician, or a CEO misstep that is quickly gaining attention on Twitter – but it’s much harder to backpedal than to “block and bridge” to your message.
4) To get up-to-speed on today’s sometimes challenging media landscape.
Newsrooms are always changing, which can make it difficult to maintain important relationships with media (see: Building the Foundation for Better Media Relationships) and understand the day-to-days in working as a source or pushing out news. While news is still defined as things that cause change, create controversy or conflict, is a first-ever thing or has a local tie – media in 2021 operates much differently than it has in the past. Media training can help you understand navigating the shrinking pool of traditional and niche reporters alongside the growing pool of “news sources” such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more.
5) To practice, practice and practice.
Those educational materials presented during your unique media training session? Yes, you’ll practice them. In real time, the trainer(s) will act as a reporter – or even play out a crisis scenario – so that participants can apply what they’ve learned and capture real-time feedback in the meantime. At Lambert, we always work to make sure clients “practice how they play.” If you’re participating in a media training to prepare for a sit-down with NBC News, we’ll set up the room as if you were on primetime. Preparing for a large analyst day? We’ll have a list of relevant Q&A your industry analysts might be asking.