Media Training

Good media training solves a problem; poor media training creates one.

In this now hyper-competitive environment, board directors, CEO’s, and other C-suite spokespeople must be able to communicate on behalf of the company to external stakeholders.

Media Training is critical.

We can show you:

  • how to manage both the easy and the toughest interviews, for TV, radio, or for newspapers.
  • how to perform under pressure: no one wants the humiliation of a bad interview.
  • how to manage social media: to promote yourself and defend your reputation.

The booklet we have written, and your take-away from the media training session, sets out the steps required to be your best.

Our Media Training sessions are run by Peter Wilkinson, who was for 30 years a leading television journalist, on the ABC’s Four Corners, predecessors to 7:30 (This Day Tonight, The Journal), and at Channel Nine’s A Current Affair and 60 Minutes. Since 2002 he has run PR companies, and a lot of his work has been helping leaders to better communicate. Understanding media is in his DNA.

Contact Peter: 0414 383 433 or [email protected]

Interested in media training?

Contact PeterContact Peter

Put two competing companies side-by-side, where one leader is a good communicator and the other not, the former wins every time.

Whether to journalists or shareholders, expert communication is a learned discipline to say what you mean, better.

And, you need to be able to communicate internally to change a vision, a culture or behaviours.
It’s about learning the techniques because any day you can be challenged by media, by opponents, by staff, or by your customers.

It can avert a crisis, or promote a vision or a product.

We give you the confidence to get your messages across in nerve-wracking situations.
Think of it from a journalist’s point-of-view.

Journalists prefer to interview someone who is media trained, as you, the interviewee better understands their needs and can better answer questions.

My background – 30 years of journalism – is central to my understanding of what motivates journalists.

Peter WilkinsonChairman, Crisis PR Expert

Put two competing companies side-by-side, where one leader is a good communicator and the other not, the former wins every time. We contend the days of the quiet achiever have passed.

And amid today’s rapid changes, more than ever CEO’s need to be able to communicate internally the need to change a vision, a culture or behaviours.

It’s not about learning to ‘spin’ dishonest Key Messages, although it can be misused for that; it’s about learning the basics because any day you can be challenged by media, by opponents, by staff, or by your customers.

So Key Messaging is not about deceiving people, it’s simply a discipline to say what you mean, better.

We could call it Communication Training. It can be ‘soft’, to promote a vision or a product; it can be ‘hard’, which includes the techniques required to avert a crisis or other difficult situations.

And training in Interview Techniques helps give you clarity and confidence to get your Key Messages across in an often nerve-wracking situation.

Think of it from a journalist’s point-of-view.

Journalists prefer to interview someone who is media trained, as you, the interviewee better understand their craft and can better answer questions.

My background – 30 years of journalism – is central to my understanding of what motivates journalists. My particular relevant skill is Crisis PR, which mainly involves preventing reputation damage and then reputation recovery.

Peter WilkinsonChairman, Crisis PR Expert

Our Media Training Course

Our approach is to give people confidence, not scare people away from participation in public debate.

We’ve found through experience that the most effective training session lasts 2-3 hours. Any longer and tiredness takes over.

Preferably, we split our sessions into three sections:

1

Understanding the current media environment

This is changing monthly and we keep up-to-date: how journalists behave, how to assess risk, and how to interact with journalists and other stakeholders. How does our desired outcome fit into this often frenetic environment?
2

Social Media strategies that work; including how to manage negative social/digital event

We have a deep understanding of social media, a full-time social media team and hard-earned experience in many crises that have manifested on various social media platforms.
3

Interview Training: As-real practice sessions

As a journalist for 30 years, Peter Wilkinson conducted thousands of interviews on Four Corners, This Day Tonight and The Journal (predecessors to 7:30), A Current Affair and 60 Minutes, and as a consultant he attended and observed journalists techniques for over 15 years.

Understanding the Current Media Environment

Up To 20 People

Familiarity gives confidence. That’s why we have written the booklet: “When a Journalist Calls”.

We walk participants through the steps you must take with media, stressing a cautionary approach – from experience we are risk-averse.

We work through some recent scenarios, looking at what happened and why. We also discuss some catastrophic outcomes we’ve seen in the media, and how they might have been better managed.

This first session frames the context for interacting with a journalist, which is as important as understanding the nitty-gritty of the interview.

We follow a proven format:

1

We discuss risk/reward

Handling the first approach: first engagement with a journalist; How to assess the risk and whether to agree to an interview. Seven questions a journalist needs to be asked before anyone agrees to answer questions.
2

We discuss the complexities of a rapidly changing media

Why some journalists misbehave: the demands of publishing today; the pressure on journalists to be controversial; why journalists are always demanding a ‘fresh angle’.
3

Preparation for the interview

This can be for either a promotional-piece or a tougher interview. We'll cover the three different kinds of key messages; how to distinguish the TV/radio/newspaper journalist’s agenda from the outcome you want; how to practice for the interview; how to manage negative issues and trick questions; and turning negatives into positives.
4

The interview

Various interview techniques. How to maintain confidence when handling tough questions; how to reinforce the positives when the question appears negative.
5

The follow-up

The benefits of long-term relationships with journalists.

You can see how the above is relevant for any engagement, not just for journalists.

Social Media Strategies (That Work)

Up To 20 People

Media engagement campaigns are conducted using social and traditional media in tandem.

Social media is an increasingly complex, but effective environment:

1

Disruption

Your opponents can use social media to disrupt your business.
2

Rogue social media posts

Sometimes issues are created by rogue tweets/posts and need to be resolved in either traditional or social media.
3

Communicating your message

Social media is a critical component when communicating with journalists because they use it more than most industry sectors.
4

Work-around

Alternatively, social media is also a way to by-pass potentially negative journalists, allowing clear-air for our messages.
5

Advertising

The traditional content-driven environment is made additionally powerful with advertising.

The content of this module is really dictated by the needs of the group as levels of knowledge, and of social/digital integration vary enormously between organisations.

However, there are some basic rules a strategist and spokesperson must be aware of when embarking on a campaign, in order to anticipate/manage outcomes.

Interview Training: Practice Sessions

Up To 6 People

Camera, lights, action!!

This is the practical part, and fun. We know from experience that clients benefit hugely from this session.

Peter Wilkinson built a television career based on doing tough interviews or producing other reporters to do the same. As a PR professional since 2002, he’s become a coach on how to convey messages in tough interview situations.

A good interview conveys the integrity of the interviewee, as well as the chosen key messages.

We cover the essentials, including:

1

Effective short interviews

Practice how to make the most of those seven-second appearances for radio and TV news and some newspaper interviews.
2

The structure of longer interviews

Perfecting radio talkback, current affairs TV and longer newspaper interviews.
3

'Doorstops' and 'Walk-ins'

Demonstration and practice of 'doorstops' and ‘walk-ins’, if needed. It’s entertaining and effective!

Summary

These sessions can be varied on the day as individual’s interests and needs become apparent.

Our experience is that the above preparation, with follow-up phone calls or face-to-face updates before interviews, provides executives with the confidence and ability to perform under almost all circumstances.