Once reserved for multinational organizations and c-suite executives, media training has become essential for businesses of all sizes to successfully sell themselves to their target audiences and media. So, what is media training, when is it necessary, and how is it done?
Media training provides spokespersons with the resources they need to communicate their message in a compelling, succinct manner. The best media training sessions are collaborative, and consist of working sessions that include an overview of the relevant media landscape and target audiences, define message strategy and offer a chance for spokespersons to practice their delivery of those messages in a controlled environment. The days of intense, on-camera drill sessions are long gone, and today’s media training sessions are designed around honing your skills to become a more effective communicator.
So, when is media training needed and who benefits? What if your spokespersons have already completed media training? Media training should be a requirement for all spokespersons, and considered for employees with a likelihood to encounter media requests. This can include everyone from the CEO to a front-line associate, and media training sessions should be tailored to meet the needs of these different audiences.
For spokespersons, a half- or full-day session that is conducted one-on-one or in a small group is recommended whereas front-line staff can be trained in large groups or even virtual settings. Refreshers or mini-sessions are also recommended on an annual basis to evolve with business needs and relevant changes in the media landscape. As businesses vie for attention in the crowded, 24-hour news cycle, it’s important to take time to develop and finesse new strategies.
Finally, proactive media training offers businesses the best defense in times of crisis. In a time when access to social media has elevated the level of influence for every customer and stakeholder, the need for crisis communication can rapidly evolve from seemingly benign events. When crisis communication becomes necessary, there is only action. Those organizations who take time to proactively prepare are able to more quickly and effectively communicate their message no matter the situation.