After weeks of preparing for an announcement, the moment of truth comes when strategy and planning leads to media interviews. And that’s when the ball is in your court. Your PR agency has secured interviews and it’s your job to get the slam dunk. But there is so much that can go wrong if you come unprepared.
Many CEOs and corporate leaders think they don’t need media training. And, more often than not, they’re wrong. Interviews, which by nature are high-pressure situations, can go sideways in an instant. And when you’re on the record or on camera, there simply isn’t any option to hit rewind and try again. Media training, which offers skills, techniques and philosophies to prepare corporate leaders for the scrutiny and stress of media interviews, is often all that stands between a businessperson and a total blow to their reputation.
So what does media training offer?
It helps you predict the questions reporters are likely to ask so you can develop and practice your answers in advance
It helps you craft answers for questions that are challenging or thorny, and offers strategies, like redirecting a conversation or dodging a trick question with grace, to avoid pitfalls that can be replayed or reprinted for years to come
It helps you understand your areas of weakness when it comes to media interactions so you can work on them. Often we need to stand in front of a mirror to see if there is a stain on our shirt or our hair is out of place. Media training offers a similar mirror, helping you realize if you stutter while under pressure, or fidget in a way that’s unbecoming. It allows you a chance to focus on your weaknesses so they can be overcome.
Media training teaches you how to maximize coverage opportunities by using your air time or your sit-down with a reporter to best offer your own pitch in a fresh, relevant and timely manner. You’ve grabbed the spotlight for a few moments, so media training teaches you how to make the very most of the opportunity.
It offers an opportunity to think about ways to make your interviews more exciting with anecdotes, data, and colorful stories.
Media training gives you the skills to deliver information in ways that get your message across effectively, and it teaches you how to package those ideas in media-friendly soundbites. It helps you become the most quotable and camera-ready version of yourself, and also provides you with tools to employ whenever curveballs are thrown your way.