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The Importance of Media Training

The Importance of Media Training

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Media Training 101If your job requires you to talk to reporters, you need media training.

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?

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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.

Storytelling Tip: You don’t have to be a great orator to be a great speaker

 

Storytelling Tip: You don’t have to be a great orator to be a great speaker
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s Tips for Telling Your Story on the Experience Pros Radio Show
Listen to the Radio Version

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Storytelling Tip: You don't have to be a great orator to be a great speakerAre you afraid of standing up in front of an audience and speaking? If so, you’re not alone.

Giving a great speech isn’t about being a great orator. And it’s certainly not about being perfect. It’s about having something to say your audience considers worth hearing.

Years ago, the Book of Lists ranked speaking in public as the number one fear humans have. They even ranked it above dying and being sick. I’m not sure I buy that. But it is a common fear.

Where does the fear come from? It’s about being afraid to make a mistake while everyone’s watching. We all hate making mistakes — especially when one of our mistakes gets noticed. If you’re standing in front of a group of people all looking at you, any mistakes you make are likely to get noticed. That can be embarrassing.

But guess what. It’s okay to make a mistake. In fact, gracefully accepting that you made a mistake and moving on makes your audience like you more. Because it makes you human.

Another big fear about speaking in public is not knowing what to say. If you find yourself unable to figure out what to say in your next presentation, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why am I speaking to this audience? What do I want to happen because I spoke? Okay, maybe your boss said you have to make the presentation. But you still should have an objective, a desired result. What is it?
  • What do I want the people in my audience to know or believe?
  • Why will they care? What do they want to know?

If you know the answers to these questions, you’re ready to give a good speech. Tell your audience what you want them to know or believe in a way they’ll find interesting. Do that and you’ll deliver a great speech, even if you’re not a great orator.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?

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Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 11:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros radio show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet.

Presentation Tip: Humor Without Jokes

 

Presentation Tip: Humor Without Jokes

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Counsel
www.JerryBrownPR.com

Presentation Tip: Humor Without JokesYou have a presentation coming up. So, you need a joke to open with. Right? Wrong!

You don’t need to open with a joke. In fact, unless you’re one of those rare people who consistently tells jokes well, you should avoid opening with a joke. Or telling them at all during your presentations.

The good news is you don’t need to tell jokes to add humor. One liners, an occasional pun or other off-the-cuff comments that make your audience smile or even chuckle are a great way to add a little humor and personality to presentations. And they’re generally easier to do well than telling a joke — a story that leads up to a punch line.

Just remember: Don’t force it. Whether you’re telling a joke or simply adding funny comments, any humor you use has to be natural and fit both your personality and the topic of your presentation. And the only person who should ever be the butt of your humor is you. Avoid jokes and other comments poking fun at others. That goes triple for any comments that poke fun at or disparage any group of people.

Use humor to help make your point or tell your story. If it’s just an appendage stuck in somewhere to draw a laugh unrelated to the rest of what you’re saying, leave it out.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?

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Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He helps clients develop content for telling their stories. He helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 | jerry@JerryBrownPR.com.

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Jerry@JerryBrownPR.com | 303.594.8016