If your company has ever been in the media spotlight, you already know it’s hard to control news coverage. But most companies underestimate their ability to influence what’s written or said about them. Whether preparing your CEO or spokesperson for a television interview, a legislative hearing or a high profile event, or responding to a crisis, you have more control than you might think.
Prepare Before you make the news…
It all starts with an understanding of how the news media function, and what is likely to attract their attention. Now is the time to do a thorough assessment of your company’s strengths and vulnerabilities, and prepare for unexpected events or crises that could damage the company’s reputation or its brands. In the Internet world and the 24-hour global news cycle, even a seemingly small problem in a far-off location can become a significant national or international issue within hours.
An invaluable part of your preparation is media training for your company’s senior management and primary spokespersons. Their performance under pressure can create long-lasting impressions on the media and public.
At our firm, Winner & Associates, our one-on-one or group training focuses on communicating about issues strategically and not just reacting to events. We emphasize developing and implementing communications strategies that support your company’s business goals and objectives. Our formula for success in media interviews and speaking opportunities is:
Preparation + Practice = Performance
We recommend that before you talk to the media, you should identify three or four key messages and practice how you would deliver them. Regardless of any reporter’s agenda, it is your job to deliver these key messages persuasively several times during any encounter with the media. Your ability to do this is enhanced through careful preparation, including mock interviews.
The time to prepare for the media spotlight is before you make the news.
Winner & Associates has had more than 30 years of experience training clients, including senior executives from numerous Fortune 500 companies, for some of the most challenging encounters with the media and other vital audiences. We prepare our clients by showing them in advance how to communicate strategically on issues and by simulating one-on-one interviews, press conferences and other events. We give them the tools they need to understand audiences, anticipate tough questions and craft effective messages.
To schedule a media training session, or learn more, contact Zach Winner at firstname.lastname@example.org.