Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be interviewed by the press? More and more these days, the press are bloggers who also can be your friends, family and your neighbors! But, what happens when that blogger also turns out to be a writer for Bloomberg, who then turns out to be a reporter for Bloomberg TV? Well, it’s your time to really shine. If you’re reading this, perhaps you’re looking for Tips on Avoiding Media Mishaps. However, this post is for current and potential clients looking to get the the most out of their upcoming media training session!
Here are 5 Tips for a Top Media Training Session:
- Share your stories: Watch and read old interviews you’ve participated in. Bring the clips to the trainer of print articles you liked/did not like. What was wrong with it? What was your best/worst experience with the press? Share this with the trainer so you can assess and avoid the same situation again.
- Trust the camera: The camera doesn’t lie. Watch yourself with a keen eye during the playback session. Discuss what can be done differently, accept the feedback and go back and try it again. We are often our own worst critics, however, a trainer has the skills to help you move beyond the negative self talk and come up with solutions to be a more effective communicator.
- Turn off the noise: Try – just try – to focus on the training. Imagine you are really in a press interview. What is it like to work with a journalist? Turn off cell phones, complete your texts and get to work. This may be your first (and last?) time you ever get to work with the press.
- Appearance does matter: Wear an outfit that you believe will appear well on camera. This is practice for the real thing. This includes hair, make-up and attire. Wear solid colors, not too much jewelry, no patterns or prints and avoid t-shirts (even if you are practicing for print interviews – appearance and professionalism is important).
- Prep yourself and your team: Prior to the session, prepare yourself – or your team — with the right messages: Do you know what you want to say about your company? How about your product, tech or APP launch? So many clients walk into the training and don’t understand this time is about delivering the message. If you need time to develop the message, schedule a separate session and get those messages in place prior to a media training.
Ideally, you will also match yourself or your client with the right trainer: Is the trainer the right person for you? Are you able to take advice from a man, a woman? Do you need broadcast TV preparation? Do you want to hear the truth? Do you need to have a current news reporter giving you advice? Find a trainer that fits in with your needs. Understand that many trainers have news backgrounds, and while that helps polishing up for an on-air/print interview, often these trainers don’t have the experience of working with companies and understanding their needs from an interview. On the other hand, does the trainer have PR experience? If that’s the case, ask if they have any experience serving as a spokesperson.
Personality matches do matter. Watch on-air clips or read print articles of the trainer and ask yourself, “Is this someone that I would want to give me honest and direct feedback, and can I take it from them?” If the answer is “yes” you’ve got yourself a partner to help you navigate the press for the day, and well beyond.
Binay Curtis is a media professional with more than 20 years of experience working in front of and behind the camera. She’s not shy at telling the truth and learning from her own mistakes as well. Follow Binay @Galaxysix around the web.