If you do any kind of media or influencer outreach for your clients, basic media training should be part of your services. There’s nothing worse than spending countless hours securing the perfect opportunity, and then watching a client blow it in just a few minutes – it’s every PR person’s nightmare!
In real life, it's not this funny:
While media training and its basic principles are second nature to Solo PR Pros, it’s a foreign concept to many client spokespeople. Never assume – just because a client knows the key messages backwards and forwards – that they understand the dynamic of an interview.
Because each client situation is different, your client will need you to practice and rehearse with them the questions and key messages that apply to their specific situation. But some media training guidance is universal. Having a set of stock media training materials, which you can customize for each client, makes it much easier to prepare them in advance of when you need it (right before a quick-turnaround interview with a reporter on deadline isn’t the best time for training!).
Good basic media training materials can include:
- Key messages- obvious, but important
- Explanations and instructions on taking charge and guiding the interview, including bridging statements and transitions
- Advice about how to use concise, quotable language
- Reminders about what not to say – and education that nothing is “off the record”
- Tips by media type – outline the specific considerations for print/online, radio/audio, television and web-based video
- Appearance and wardrobe tips
- Step-by-step directions for before, during and after the interview
Solo PR PRO Premium members, click here to download our Media Training Handbook Template and here to download the Key Messages and Message Mapping eBook and Templates. Not a PRO member? Learn more and join today!
When to hire a professional media trainer
There are many professionals who earn their living specializing in on-site media training – they bring cameras and other equipment to replicate the experience of an interview, and the good ones are experts at role playing. Bringing in an outside media trainer can be extremely valuable if your client has the budget for it (usually $3,000 – $5,000+). These professionals can offer additional expertise and – perhaps more importantly – they can offer third-party critiques without worrying as much about annoying the spokesperson (as you might).
As a Solo PR Pro, the more customizable templates we have on-hand, the more flexible we can be in meeting the needs of our clients in a timely manner – with fewer fire drills! A media training handbook can be a great addition to your arsenal.
If you share media training materials with clients, what are some of the key points you include? Share your tips with the community in the comments!