YES! Yes it is.

Even the most seasoned spokesperson – including the CEO – needs media training and regular refresher sessions.  It’s important not to lose sight of this as part of your Thought Leadership Strategy.

We previously worked with a CEO who did not take media training seriously (this client shall remain nameless for reasons you’ll agree are obvious!). Despite our repeated attempts to counsel and even warn him about the damage that could result from not being prepared, he accepted what he thought would be a friendly interview with ABC’s 20/20. Well, friendly it was not and the CEO failed miserably at managing the situation. Needless to say, we held intensive media training sessions thereafter!

If you’re still not convinced, let’s talk about media training in terms a CEO most DEFINITELY will understand. Media training = meeting preparation. Getting ready for a press interview is as important, if not more so, than planning a business meeting – and not just during crisis communication. After all, when you’re speaking with the media, your responses reach audiences well beyond the conference room. In addition, different communication techniques are required when utilizing the voice of the media to influence vs. directly communicating with your audience as you do at a meeting.

So when you’re deciding if interview preparation is worth your time, remember that you would never walk into a board meeting, new business pitch, negotiation or quarterly investors’ presentation without doing your homework. Give the same respect to the interview process and you’ll reap the benefits.

In upcoming posts we’re going to explore the dos and don’ts of media training, such as:

  • Messaging: although you may know your company inside and out, there are tips to effectively communicate your strategic positioning in an interview.
  • The successful sound bite: the ability to provide responses in a comprehensive yet concise manner takes much practice. All reporters edit down quotes – be sure they include the right information from your interview.
  • TV, radio, print: what’s the difference when giving an interview?

Throughout this Media Training series, we invite you to share your media training experiences and advice, and to ask questions to keep the discussion going.