For most, being interviewed by the media isn’t something that happens everyday, and it can be a daunting and nerve wracking situation. Print and broadcast media are popular forms of communication to utilize, but if used incorrectly, could lead to a PR nightmare. Knowing ahead of time how to properly craft your desired narrative will prepare you for a successful interview.
What is media training and how can it benefit you? According to Indeed, “[Media] training prepares individuals to represent themselves, a brand or a company to the media by teaching them how to discuss relevant topics in an engaging and professional way.” Media training will help you get in tip-top shape so that you can best represent your company to the media—and additionally, the world.
Preparation is Key
Being interviewed live on camera or speaking to a reporter can be a nail-biting experience, but with a media training program in place, it doesn’t have to be. Through media training, your team will learn exactly what to say, what expressions to have, how to answer tricky questions, and so much more.
A briefing book is often provided which includes a list of key messages about your company, important information about the reporter or interviewer, and a list of sample questions with prepared answers. This tool is meant for the interviewee to reference ahead of time, and can act as a reference tool and fail-safe if the person panics mid-interview. Take this example of Uber’s CEO bombing an interview on what not to do.
If needed, a mock interview can help a candidate feel more comfortable during the real interview, especially if it’s going to be on camera. It will also allow the interviewee to practice their desired body language on camera. These tools will help to steer the narrative in the direction that is best for your company and to ultimately ace the interview.
When you’re put into the spotlight and are responsible for representing your company, it’s important to have confidence in your ability to answer tough questions. It’s also important that the interviewee feels confident enough to redirect the interview if it goes in a direction that could potentially hurt the company’s image. Practice makes perfect, but doing even more research on the outlet and on your own company is a must. Through comprehensive media training, your team will learn how to handle sticky or unexpected situations—leading to an increased confidence and natural flow of the conversation.
An interview shouldn't always just be questions and answers, it’s best to use this opportunity to tell a story—you or your team member should be able to convey the narrative of the brand with ease and confidence. Since whomever is being interviewed is ultimately representing the company, we want “friendly”, “warm” and “well prepared” to be adjectives the audience associates with them and the brand. The more media training your team has, the more comfortable they will be when being interviewed—overall leading to a better story.
Areas of Improvement
You’ve gone through media training, you’ve practiced and built up your confidence and you ace the interview. What now? Learning from the interview experience and using it to better prepare yourself for the next opportunity is a must. As a result, your team will be able to communicate your company's story and message more effectively. Ultimately, everyone can always work to be a better storyteller, no matter how many times they’ve been interviewed. Learning how to take constructive criticism from the experience and learning from mistakes will help you and your team be as successful as possible.
Additionally, after all the interviewing is over, you’ll want to review the final coverage and determine if the messaging is in line with your brand’s values and reputation. If it isn’t up to par, have your team or PR agency of record reach out to the contact and politely suggest edits so that both parties are happy.
Are you looking to get your team ready for the spotlight? Contact us today to talk about our media training program.