There is a little secret in the newsroom that not many know and that is there a list. A list of names of people who have been used for interviews in the past. It’s usually in a database with phone numbers, emails and job titles. But there is another part of that list that doesn’t get spoken about outside of the newsroom and it is a note that says whether the interviewee was good ‘talent’ or not.
Talent is a term that has been around for decades and is a hangover from the days when TV dominated the landscape. Being good talent means you’ll get called back, and if you’re not, you won’t. If you’re mediocre on the other hand, you’ll get called back but only when no one else is available.
It sounds harsh and sometimes it is. You can be the most passionate person in your company, with the greatest depth of knowledge – in fact the only person qualified to talk to the media – but unless you are engaging, clear and concise you may just be missing your mark.
Working on both sides as a journalist and media consultant I can not stress enough the importance of having good, sound media training. And here’s why….
Talking to journalists – no matter what the medium – can be daunting. It’s not something you do everyday so it can feel strange.
What do you sound like? Look like?
Did you come across ok? Or did you feel like a goose?
The only person who can best answer these questions is you because no matter how much reassurance someone gives you, if you don’t believe it – it meanz nothing. Media training is where, in a safe and controlled environment you get to look at yourself, learn how to control mannerisms, practice what you say and with an experienced coach. Allow yourself to make the mistakes in training and not in the middle of a live cross.
Nerves can also be a hard thing to manage and media training gives you the right tools to get on top of that.
Be the one they call first
How often have you read something in the media about your industry and thought, ‘rubbish’. Perhaps the industry expert was not up to scratch or their view on the issue was not what you are experiencing. When a news story breaks in your industry journalists want to hear from you. They are on the look out for new angles and new voices. But what they also want to know is that if they did follow your lead you can deliver what they need.
As we all know journalism is not rocket science however it still requires some key elements. Media training helps you understand what those key elements are and skills you up so you can deliver, every time.
Make it clear and concise
Having a message that is clear and concise will almost guarantee that when a journalist does interview you, they will use it. This is more than just producing sound bites and being able to explain something complex. It means when a journalist is using you in their story they are clear about what you stand for and have a workable interview they can use to show it.
Deadlines often mean we can’t sit there and go through endless hours of interviews or read pages of reports to understand something. We need you the expert to help us do that, and when you can do that with authority, clearly and quickly (thanks to that deadline) we’ll definitely come back to you next time.
It’s not all good news
We would love to think that any time a journalist rings you it is for a good news story but we all know that is not the case. Being able to manage the good times and the bad is key to good media training. Knowing what to say when is key to managing your message, all the strategising in the world is no good without being confident you can deliver. Media training makes sure all that time and energy you put in to your communications strategy pays off.
Be a market leader
You hear all the time that journalists are inundated with news stories so it’s important to reach above the pack. But how do you do that? With sound media training you can finesse your message and find out ways to put yourself forward as the expert in your field. And as your confidence in front of the media grows, so will the demand for your thoughts, opinions and expertise.
Finding the right media training is key to all of this and that is why I’m bringing renowned journalist, writer and public speaker Tracey Spicer to Adelaide to deliver intense media training in small groups.
In this short podcast she outlines what she will be covering and as she says, it is an investment in training that will last a lifetime.
For women who read this blog who may still be a bit tentative about putting themselves forward, listen to this inspiring chat between Tracey and I outlining why media training is so important for you.