What to do when the boss refuses to have media training…

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 22.14.29If you’re a corporate communications director or an agency PR executive, it can sometimes be a real challenge to persuade your Board members (or your client’s “top team”) to have media training.

“Media training? Why do we need media training? Only last week we presented our new strategy/new product details to shareholders/City analysts! We’ll be just fine doing the same to the media, thanks all the same,” they say with breezy confidence.

At this point, you, the corp comms/PR person, probably wince, as you recall that presentation: 64 slides, with eight bullet points per slide and flow-charts and mind-maps that looked like an accident in a spaghetti factory.
But alas, who wants to be the one to risk telling it how it is, to effectively say “The King is wearing no clothes and someone needs to help him NOW!”?
The trouble is, talking to the media demands a completely different skill set to addressing shareholders, customers or analysts, and it’s precisely because a media interview can be as short as a 25-second soundbite, that it requires so much more time to prepare.
Put simply, executives know too much.
Thankfully, as a media training company, we can make the case for training on behalf of the PRs, if it’s just too unpalatable for them, or if they’re fed up with being ignored!
We’ll gladly do a “taster” interview with their reluctant or over-confident spokesperson – and write up an article based on that interview, if they wish – just to let them see if they really can do it, or highlight any weaknesses (as is more likely).
That way, the executives themselves recognise the need for training.

In the many years we’ve been running courses, not only do we honestly believe we have seen a notable improvement in every client we’ve media trained, we’re sure each of them would agree they’ve improved, no matter how sceptical they might have been beforehand.
Not only that, we reckon they would have enjoyed themselves too!
So, if you have a boss or client, who stubbornly refuses to be media trained, yet repeatedly says the wrong thing in interviews – possibly then blaming you afterwards for the negative coverage – talk to us.
We have many “tools” to persuade the most recalcitrant executive that not only is media training fun, informative and useful, it can be a brilliant business investment too.

 

 

 

 

 

Ann Bird has been a media trainer for 15 years, coaching delegates from Europe to Asia. Many have gone on to be interviewed on national and international TV and radio – including one who appeared on Sky News just hours after the training! Numerous delegates have also been interviewed by the world’s best known newspapers.