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Media training should build you up, not tear you down

Blog post   •   Mar 04, 2020 10:05 +08

Media training exercises should be realistic, not contrived

“She did media training at her last company, but she said it was pretty brutal.”

I worry when I hear my customers say things like this. It’s true media training should put your spokespeople through their paces. It’s also certainly true that some spokespeople – let’s be honest – think they are much better than they really are, and they need to experience first-hand how tough some interviews get.

But I am not at all a fan of mock interview exercises which result in humiliation, fear, and ultimately defeat, just for the sake of it. It cannot be in the interest of Communications Directors to scare the living daylights out of their spokespeople for the fun of it. That’s hardly going to enamour them to the idea that they ought to be out in the public eye.

Media training should be like a good massage: hit all the right points, but never hurt. Just because the media trainer can steamroll spokespeople with king-hit questions doesn’t mean that they should.

It wouldn't be so bad if solutions are provided to help the spokesperson get out of such tricky situations. But often tough questions are asked aggressively with the sole purpose of putting the spokesperson down, and to bolster the ego of the trainer.

Fact is, in Asia your spokespeople are far more likely to face ill-informed interviewers than aggressive ones, and that requires an entirely different skillset.

Besides, you need confidence to appear in the media. The media training workshop should build you up, not tear you down.

Agree/disagree? Add your comment below.

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