Why Should Our Organization Do Media Training?
I'm sometimes asked why organizations hire media trainers, so let me take a minute to explain what I do as a trainer and the benefits companies receive.
1. Brand Protection and Enhancement
The obvious initial benefit is gained when key people for an organization get a better understanding of what to say to the media and how to say it. With the prominence of social media these days, it's critically important for companies to also understand how they could be attacked, ways to prevent it from happening and what to do if it should take place. In addition, there are many situations that lead to organizations wanting to speak to the media to promote something and knowing what to say, when given the opportunity is equally as important.
2. Improved Communications
Many people who participate in my media training sessions tell me that the information helps them not only with the media, but in discussions every day with customers, the public and others. The same steps that I teach people to take before speaking to the news media can also be used in everyday business conversations. Knowing what to say and how to say it can come in handy when speaking to a reporter, or when trying to sell your product or service. In both cases, preparation is the key.
3. Team Building
At the start of all my sessions I let participants know they're in for a lot of fun. Most don't believe me. After all, how can getting interviewed on camera, in front of my peers be fun? By the end of the day they understand what I was talking about. Attempting to stay on message and provide the proper comments to the "cranky reporter" results in a refreshing challenge for all involved and the vast majority of people leave the session with some fond memories (and new skills).
4. Value For Volunteers
I work with a lot of not-for-profit Boards and volunteer-based organizations. Many of those volunteers tell me that the media training gives them something in return for their involvement. I remember one Board member telling me "I've been a part of this Board for eight years and this is the first time I feel like they did something for me."
5. New skills
Understanding how to deal with the media provides a new skill for everyone and it also forces them out of their comfort zones. I often tell people "You get better by doing", meaning people get better the more they do something. The second interview I do with people at each session is almost always better than the first, which shows it doesn't take long to get the hang of it. You never know when you'll get a call from a media outlet and be asked to do an interview.
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