What is Media Training?
"It’s giving people the knowledge, skills and confidence to know what to say and how to say it when they need to say it to the news media. "
This is a really fundamental question about what takes place during media training, which is also called media relations training.
Here’s how I describe what media training is. It’s giving people the knowledge, skills and confidence to know what to say and how to say it when they need to say it to the news media. That’s really what it gets down to.
Typically, media relations training sessions include three separate parts. Those taking the training receive a presentation on the news media and it covers everything from how the news media works, to how to prepare for and do interviews to tips and strategies to be effective when speaking to reporters.
Following that, media trainers usually work on specific issues with those taking training. These issues are ones that the organization has been involved with in the past, or potentially could become issues in the future. This is the way the session is customized to each organization.
Following that, practice interviews are done with participants, followed by feedback from the media trainer and those taking in the training. Normally the interviews are done on video, but if somebody does a lot of phone interviews, it makes sense to practice that format.
These days, more and more interviews are being done by video connections, so that’s another format that can be practiced. Media trainers also do scrums, in which people being interviewed face three or four people acting as reporters.
It’s been my experience that media training sessions last a full day, but in some cases the organization doesn’t have that much time so the media relations workshop only lasts a half a day. It’s really the call of the client.
The overall objective of media training is for an organization and its spokespeople to be prepared for appearances in the news media.