The Importance of Media Training
By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
As a former journalist and long-time public relations professional who’s been on both sides of thousands of media interviews, there are no exceptions to that as far as I’m concerned.
Why do I say that? Because media interviews — answering questions from reporters — play an important role in nearly every major news story. And media training is the single most effective thing you can do to improve the success of your interactions with reporters.
Most organizations I’ve worked with over the years are extremely careful when preparing their news releases. They dot every “i,” cross every “t” and parse every comma. The approval process often is extensive and painstaking.
That’s good. But it’s not enough. A news release is like a resume. A resume isn’t designed to get you a job. It’s designed to get you job interviews. If you’re looking for major news coverage, your news releases should be designed to get you news interviews — to create enough interest among reporters that they want to talk to you to learn more about what you have to say.
Unfortunately, many of the same organizations that take so much care in preparing their news releases don’t give much thought to preparing for the interviews that will follow.
That’s dangerous because you’re more likely to make mistakes that lead to negative coverage during an interview than in your news release.
Athletes, musicians, singers, actors, pilots and many other skilled professionals get coached and practice.
Is it important for you and the other the people who speak for your organization to do your best when you talk to reporters? Then get coached and practice. The coaching is called media training.
I’ve conducted media training for several decades, sometimes teaming up with my colleague Jane Dvorak. Like me, Jane is an accredited member (APR) of the Public Relations Society of America. She’s also a PRSA Fellow, a designation achieved by only about three percent of PRSA’s members. And she’s national chair-elect of PRSA.
We’ve found there are two major obstacles that keep people from getting media training — time and money. Media training can be expensive. And it can be hard to get a team of executives together at the same time for the training.
So, Jane and I have teamed up to offer Media Training 101, an affordable and convenient online media training program available through Vimeo’s video-on-demand service. It’s the same training you’d receive if you hired us to do it in person, but less expensive. For $250, you have access to the training for a full week. During that week, you can review it as many times as you like and share it with as many members of your team as you like.
It’s available at www.vimeo.com/ondemand/mediatraining101.
We all have stories to tell. Do you need help telling yours?
Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist who helps clients get their stories heard, understood and remembered. Need help telling your story? You can reach Jerry at 303-594-8016 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.