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Media training for corporate communicators


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What do we do?
We help our clients become better communicators for all media opportunities. We find out our clients' needs, create a specific series of videotaped exercises and simulated TV/media interview situations and then practice with you until you are comfortable with your performance.

What is your approach to Media Training?
Our approach is to treat each person based on his or her needs and their business environment, and not use some ready-made format workshop. (We ask that all clients fill out a needs assessment beforehand to help us better prepare for the training session.) Every training session is unique to the person or persons trained. The one constant in every training session is that the client spends a great deal of time in front of the camera being recorded during interview situations, and then watching the performances on instant playback with critiques.

Published in: Education, Business

Media training for corporate communicators

  1. 1. Copyright BPR 2010 MEDIA SKILLS TRAINING Developing an understanding of the media for better messaging, placement and management during a crisis and proactively.
  2. 2. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Today’s presentation • Crisis communication • World of the journalist • The media landscape • Four types of media • The newsroom • Basic ground rules for dealing with the media • A journalist calls … • Preparing for an interview • Interview techniques
  3. 3. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Stuff Happens
  4. 4. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Crisis Communication • You operate in a profession imbued with numerous issues by its very nature • How you manage an issue has the ability to prevent a potential or actual crisis (of operation and reputation) and turn it into an opportunity. • Effective and managed communication during a crisis is critical.
  5. 5. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Public Interest
  6. 6. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Issues are of public interest • Immediate danger posed • Impact on self / others • Human interest in out-of-the-ordinary • Rolling impact of issue
  7. 7. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 So what does the public do? • Look to news sources for information • Media inquire on behalf of public to find out: •Who •What •When •Why •And what next?
  8. 8. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 The World of the Journalist • Influential • Opinion leaders • Responsibility to inform the public • Find the facts (first to news if possible) • Champion the reader • Just doing a job • Many stories not initiated by journalists
  9. 9. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 World of the Journalist
  10. 10. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 The World of the Journalist • High pressure – Deadlines – Competition – Redundancies • A journalist is the gatekeeper to your audience • They judge what will be interesting to your audience – Relevant – Informative – New – Useful – Entertaining – informative
  11. 11. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Print Media
  12. 12. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Print media • More detail than radio / TV • Possible to convey simple figures / statistics • Photos • Uncovered more issues / scandals than radio and TV • Regional newspapers tend to draw issues out longer than metropolitan press • Can be read, re-read, and in any order • People tend to concentrate more when reading • Newspaper / community papers / magazines / trade & sector (vertical) press
  13. 13. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 The Web
  14. 14. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 The Web • Electronic “newspapers” and news services • Blogs, newsgroups and chat, special interest sites • “Real-time” • Follow stories faster than radio • Combine detail with sound and visual images • Global reach • Allows audience to hear from all parties involved
  15. 15. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Radio
  16. 16. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Radio • Intimacy and repetition • Story moves through stages • Urgency and immediacy in a developing story • Flexible – can follow interesting stories • People listening are normally doing something else – not 100% concentration • Live or pre-recorded
  17. 17. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Radio • Can set the news agenda for the day (and for TV midday evening news) • Headlines only – soundbites • Detail & figures die on air • How you sound is as important as what you say
  18. 18. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Television
  19. 19. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Television • Reaches large audience • High impact • High level of involvement • Stronger on image than facts • How you look is important • Live or pre-recorded; on location, or in studio
  20. 20. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Television & radio - Pre-recorded or live? Pre-recorded • Not as stressful • Usually on location (your place) • You and the reporter / camera crew • Can re-do if make a mistake • Reporter will select the grabs that work best / fit their angle Live • More stressful • Have greater editorial control (no editing) – what you see / hear is what you get! • You’re “face-to-face” • Live to NZ • Dependent on interviewer to give you “share of voice” • May have to interrupt to get it otherwise
  21. 21. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Television & Radio – “Down the Line” • In a remote studio / location • Not looking at a person, but a TV monitor • Hearing interviewer / other people through earpiece • Less control • Stressful • “Believability” factor reduced
  22. 22. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 The Newsroom
  23. 23. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 The Newsroom • Editor • News Editor • Chief Reporter • Features Editor • Business Editor • Sports Editor • Chief Sub-Editor • Reporters – Rounds – General
  24. 24. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Media interaction: Basic Ground Rules
  25. 25. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Media interaction: Basic Ground Rules • Be honest • Protect your reputation • Be responsive • Be available • Cultivate journalists • Don’t get in the way • Provide exclusives (carefully) • Know your organisation/back story • Anticipate difficulties
  26. 26. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 What the journalist / reporter will always have • The last word • The power to distort or interpret • Little control over editing or headlines • No desire to print retractions • Little patience if they suspect stalling • Full control over the story – no reading back • No obligation to respect “off the record”
  27. 27. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 A journalist calls … • Be helpful and positive • Find out – Who’s calling? – What do they want? – What’s their deadline? • Set the parameters • Arrange a time to call back
  28. 28. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview Number 1
  29. 29. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 A journalist calls … • Establish as much detail as possible: – who will be doing the interview – who else they will be talking to – how long the piece will be • Evaluate – What is the reporter really looking for? – What are they saying to you? – How are they saying it? – What do they want to hear back? – Who is their audience and what are they interested in?
  30. 30. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Refusing to be interviewed • A refusal is legitimate if: – You can not make the deadline – Your position is unknown or precarious – Your position can not be justified – When emotional odds are not in your favour (even if you are right) – You don’t have the authority to speak – You are unaware of your organisation’s position • How: – “I can’t help you with that” – “I don’t know” – “I’ll find out and someone will call you back” – “I’ll be in a position to help you soon” – “We’re taking this issue very seriously, and are doing our best to understand the facts as soon as we can. We’ll comment then”
  31. 31. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Preparing for an interview • Are you authorised to speak? • Are you the best person to speak? • If you’re on the spot in a crisis: – Think CAP - Care - Action - Perspective formula • Do not start an interview until you have: – Considered the issue – Found out about the story – Consulted / established your organisation’s position and the legal implications – Thought how to express yourself
  32. 32. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Preparing for the interview • Put yourself in the journalist’s shoes • Think about your “story” • Prepare 1-3 key messages: what is your “quotable quote”? • Think about possible questions – What’s the worst question you could be asked? – What’s the answer to that? – What are the opposing views? – Weak points of your position? • Where is the best location for the interview (best image / most comfort for you?
  33. 33. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview Number 2
  34. 34. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Preparing for the interview • Check your facts • Establish your audience • Summarise your story • Draft key messages • Send background information in advance • Gather supplementary information • Research previous statement on the topic • Look for opportunities • Rehearse
  35. 35. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview techniques • Control • Facts • Positivity • Humanity
  36. 36. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview techniques Control • Be zen. Remain in control of yourself. • Know your key messages • Be message driven not question driven • Repeat yourself if necessary • Stop speaking when you’ve answered the question • Stick to your position: don’t waver • Be assertive (but not rude) • Don’t pander to assertions or speculation • Limit informal chat about the topic
  37. 37. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview techniques Facts • Never respond to a hypothetical question • Don’t offer a personal opinion • Watch out for a loaded question • Correct any inaccuracies in the reporter’s viewpoint • Be concise: – Use key words – Don’t be too technical • Be very clear about the boundaries (eg. I can’t speak about that until a decision is made)
  38. 38. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview techniques Positivity • Begin with a summary of your message • Phrase your position in the positive • Avoid “no comment” • Take every opportunity to demonstrate the positives • Remember: negative body language can overrule positive words • Invite further inquiries
  39. 39. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Humanity • Relax! • Make sure your position – and how you represent it – does the organisation justice • Don’t let fear or safety make you a robot • Be honest and sincere • Be personal – but keep a professional distance • Don’t be clever or evasive • Treat the journalist with respect • Understand and acknowledge the audience’s interests and concerns (eg. I’d be as concerned as anyone if funds were used fraudulently) Interview techniques
  40. 40. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview Number 3
  41. 41. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview techniques • Remember: – A journalist can not make you say anything you don’t want to say – “I don’t know” is okay – but offer to help find out or follow-up – Springboard - control your interview – Avoid jargon, statistics and detail – NOTHING is EVER “off the record” – Always be polite; never lose your temper – The people you are really trying to reach is your target audience
  42. 42. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview techniques: Radio and TV • 8 – 10 second soundbites • TV news stories generally 1’20” long • Requires extra care to get your message across • Remember the microphone: – You don’t know what may be heard – Just because the interview has not officially started – or has officially finished – does not mean you are not being recorded • Vary your tone and pace • Use emphasis and facial expression • Don’t speak too quickly
  43. 43. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview techniques: Radio and TV • Talk to the interviewer and not the camera • Look the interviewer in the eye • Think about clothes (think about image projection and avoid “busy” patterns) • Don’t sit on a revolving chair • Have a glass of water nearby
  44. 44. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Interview techniques: Radio and TV • Most nervousness does not show • Generally the interviewer and the audience want the interview to go well • Do breathing exercises • Clench / unclench your fists out of sight to help you relax • Don’t fidget • Relax!
  45. 45. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 • Everyone will take their lead from you – so you must remain calm and assured • Get your real work done first, before handling the media • How you handle the public side of this situation will reflect on the organisation • Lack of information means the worst will be assumed, so you must communicate something • Be clear and factual • Don’t be afraid of the truth. Conclusion
  46. 46. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Any Questions?
  47. 47. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 Golden rules when dealing with the media • Everything you say to a journalist is a matter of public record and can be referenced as part of a story • Never ask to see the story before it goes to print • Be aware that your story may not get published in the next issue, or even at all, if a more pressing story comes in and the editor changes the layout, the journalist is under no obligation to print • Deadline is king – ALWAYS ask a journalist when their deadline is (there is always a deadline) and make sure you get them what they need within that timescale
  48. 48. Copyright Peter Boyes 2010 When you sup with the devil