The current and July issues of PRInfluences have two articles on media training and its PR benefit for senior management.
According to PRInfluences, media training has the following benefits:
- It reminds top management of the role of PR and how the company needs to prepare for it.
- It can be a venue for developing and agreeing on corporate messages.
- It can be an opportunity to give top management an insight on how the outside world sees the company.
- It can be an opportunity to identify “media talent” and choose a company spokesperson or spokespersons.
- It can be a good team building exercise for top executives.
The current article states that media training for CEOs and other senior executives should focus on corporate messaging, or how to define what it is exactly that the company does and how to describe its products, people, partnerships and customers. Executives should keep in mind that they are speaking to media interested in facts, opinions and issues important to its readers rather than marketing hype.
The articles emphasize that the trainer should be chosen carefully, preferably one who can work with the company in developing the message and has solid and varied experience with relevant media.
The July article recommends having a session on telephone interviews since about 80% of media interviews are done over the telephone.
Training for TV interviews is also highly recommended because TV is the most demanding medium with regard to message delivery and executives who are trained to handle TV will be well-prepared for all the other media, as well.
After the media training, participants are expected to:
- Appreciate media’s perspective and how and why it is different from the company perspective;
- Understand the importance of message development;
- Grasp the key principles in dealing with media; and
- Grasp the basic rules on dressing for, and talking to, media.
For the company PR, in general, the following outcomes are expected:
- Top executives have a better appreciation of media and of why the company’s media relations need to be handled professionally.
- Top executives have a greater understanding and appreciation of PR and its benefits to the company.
- Top executives are better equipped to handle media relations.
- The company has stronger and more credible messages.
- Key persons are identified as spokespersons.
Even for top executives, there’s always something new to learn.