Why Media Training Is Important

 

If you are involved in promoting your organization using key staff, you may want to consider media training for them.

Media training helps the person communicate effectively, minimizes risk and provides positive PR for the person giving the interview and the organization, according to Candace Smith, assistant vice president for media relations for George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Media training also has benefits beyond the media interview. Such training improves presentations and builds confidence.

During a mock interview, a journalist uses a smartphone to conduct the interview. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

During a mock interview, a journalist uses a smartphone to conduct the interview. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

Those who haven’t had media training often make some common mistakes. One of the most common is assuming that a reporter has done his research. With today’s media cutbacks, reporters often are assigned the story only a short time before they go to interview the person. As the subject of an interview, it’s important for you to provide some background and context.

The flip side of this is individuals who think they should share everything they know, or a data dump. Most reporters have a limited time for the interview and even shorter time for the final interview. It’s important to know your key messages and focus on sharing those.

Those new to interviews also think they should answer every question a reporter asks. That’s the worst thing an individual can do, especially if the interview is antagonistic. Instead, it’s better to bridge back to an answer that you want the audience to hear.

If you have the opportunity to participate in media training – even if you don’t think you will ever have to give an interview – it may be worth your time.

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