You know the phrase singing from the same song sheet? If I could sum up in one sentence why the leadership team at most organizations could benefit from media training, that’s the essence of it. It gets everyone on the same page and using the same language in a way that few other exercises can.
Let me take a step back. A few members of our team conducted a media training earlier this week for a company that was preparing for a big upcoming trade show. We spent a full day with the team, focused on finessing key messages, sharing tips and best practices for interacting with media and finished up with everyone’s favorite part: on-camera practice. The goal of a session like this is to get participants more comfortable in working with the media and in turn, more prepared for future interactions with reporters.
Every time I’m part of such a training, I walk away feeling like we’ve had the opportunity to make a significant impact on the people in the room. To be honest, I would feel the same way even if the people in the room weren’t primary spokespeople or didn’t have a single media interaction for the next six months, or even for years to come.
That’s because to me, the biggest benefit of media training is in the messaging and the comfort level the attendees have with that messaging after the fact.
When a team can come together and focus on key messages, it’s a unifying experience. When you go through potential reporter questions and think about what a reporter might ask and get to listen to your colleague’s response, you wonder how you might handle a similar situation. The practice of the training brings up conversations that wouldn’t otherwise be had among the team and highlights where any red flags might be in your core messaging.
Having key company leadership all answering, “What is it that you do?” in a similar fashion is a priority you shouldn’t dismiss.
When’s the last time your team underwent media training or a messaging refresh?