Seeing people on television bumbling their way through an interview is uncomfortable to watch. What’s even more uncomfortable than that is the reputational risk and damage that is caused to an individual or a brand. Badly conducted or ill-informed and unprepared interviews are possible to avoid. You have to invest the time in preparing.
You should go into a media interview knowing your facts, understanding your message, the media channel and its audience, sharing the right information and using that coveted spotlight to create impact, goodwill and accountability. Understanding how the media works, how its news cycles are determined, how media generally sees the private sector and what makes a story, helps you work better with them.
Besides wanting to look good or share information, there is a growing need for the communities you serve or work in to be better informed. It’s also imperative that businesses show thought leadership. You can only accomplish this if you know how to use the channels at your disposal. Media training helps familiarise you with those channels and builds your awareness on how to get your message right and get it out to achieve the right results. Social media engagement still comes across as somewhat hit and miss yet is a crucial aspect of your company outreach. Knowing how to master it, use it wisely and opportunely are skills all serious business owners must develop.
Our series ensures that you know how to design your message, when to deploy it and how to keep authentic interaction online. And of course, in an age where virtual meetings are more the norm than the exception, mastering your online presence, in terms of lighting, positioning and keeping your point sharp and succinct are invaluable tools. People switch off when they can’t see you properly, are distracted by how you come across or become bored by overly drawn-out presentations. Learning the art of capturing and holding attention is a skill easily learned when you have expert guidance! Sometimes things happen that one cannot anticipate.
If your business is caught in an unexpected crisis, or an event that demands an answer – you should know how to prepare and be ready to provide clarity when and where it is needed most, and in a tone that is consistent with the moment. Too often people feign sympathy or concern but come off looking insincere or misdirected. Or they oversell or overestimate how their presence is being felt. This is because they don’t understand the impact of their message not only within their operating environment but also in broader society. And media training helps here too. It is a tool that allows a business or entity to see how it is being seen within context. That helps build perspective and the opportunity to better curate its reputation and impact.
Media training is not about teaching hype and spin. South Africans can spot that a mile off! It is about speaking with authority and authenticity, whether the situation is favourable or adverse. There is nothing more beautiful than watching someone answer honestly, clearly and with a real desire to connect with an audience. These skills are transferable, all you have to do is show up with an open mind, willingness to learn something new and powerful, and be available to lean forward.
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