Implementing Media Training with Personnel
Developing a media training protocol is one of the best ways for the company to protect its public image. This allows them to prepare all staff in the event that a member of the media should contact them for an interview. In good times and in moments of crisis, it is important to be prepared to talk to the media. You should prepare yourself and your staff on how to field media calls and questions. That way, you can put your best foot forward in protecting your company’s reputation and sharing its story.
First, identify what members of your staff will serve as spokespersons for your organization. The president or CEO typically fills this role, but it can also be assigned to marketing representatives. Once the spokesperson(s) have been identified, each should undergo media training to learn how to develop and deliver a media message. Always have another key member of your staff do the training as well in the event your spokesperson isn’t available when needed.
In the media training process, give your team members the opportunity to practice their interview skills using hypothetical situations. This will teach them how to deliver a message containing the key points.
Interview Tips & Tricks
• Keep answers brief and to the point.
• Assume the camera or microphone is always on and recording.
• Speak clearly, concisely, and at a normal level.
• Stick to the key message while telling the story.
• Be positive and upbeat when appropriate.
• Act confident, but not overly confident.
• Only share the facts/basics of the story. Avoid adding unnecessary details that will confuse the message.
• Address the audience using language they will understand. Do not use acronyms or industry jargon.
• Never speak “Off the record.”
• Avoid saying “No Comment."
On-camera interviews require additional training. This training will teach the staff how to best present themselves while being interviewed on camera.
Best Practices for On-Camera Interviews
• Don’t wear stripes, white, black, and bright reds. Avoid wearing distracting patterns. Try to wear solid colors and pastels.
• Sit up straight; however, do not appear too stiff.
• Remain still. Keep hand movements to a minimum.
• Stay calm and focused on your message.
• Do move your body a little to avoid looking like a robot.
• Answer all questions in a concise manner.
• Make eye contact with the interviewer as if you are having a normal conversation.
• Be sincere and smile when appropriate.
Lastly, develop a media protocol. Outline the trained and approved members of your staff to speak to the media. Also, list the proper steps for when a reporter calls. For example, include questions to ask reporters when they reach out, such as when their deadline is.
Cork Tree Creative offers different levels of media training ranging from a full-day training session to a shorter session. Both options are designed to prepare you for interacting with the media. We also offer crisis communications services where we step in and serve as the interface between you and the media. Don’t know where to start and exactly what you need for your company's media relations protocol? Contact us at (618) 656-7333 for assistance!