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Why Media Training Takes Time

Is there a possibility that someone in the news media might interview you in the future?  If so, here’s a look at what you can expect from media training. This is a repost of an article from one of my international colleagues, Alan Stevens, whose company is called “The Media Coach.”  He outlines his process for getting someone ready for an interview.

FIVE MINUTES ON AIR, FIVE HOURS PREP

There tend to be two different ways that people look at media interviews, Some people feel that since they know their topic inside out, they barely need to prepare, since they will able to deal with any question. Other people are so terrified of being interrogated by a reporter that they spend days analyzing the worst questions, and practicing avoidance tactics.

I advocate a different approach. Your five minutes of airtime is a golden opportunity to deliver a simple, effective, relevant message. When I’m preparing a client for a media encounter, we spend a lot of the time preparing the message, and then practicing ways to deliver it in an answer to any question. That doesn’t mean avoiding the question altogether, but it does mean focusing on your message rather than trying to figure out what the journalist wants to know.

Preparing for a five-minute interview on national radio or TV, I generally split the time up roughly this way:

      • An hour deciding what message to deliver
      • An hour refining the message
      • An hour practicing delivery of the message
      • An hour considering the worst questions
      • An hour doing a series of practice interviews

That may sound a lot of work for a five-minute interview. But the reputation of you company could hinge on it. How much is that worth?

Thanks, Alan. No matter how well seasoned a company representative is in public speaking, news media interviews are a different communications game. Your media training plan is exactly what is needed in order to get positive results.

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