Those are just some of the things I can do in a media training--and these days, my media trainings look less like the "we'll do a CNN-style ambush interview" trainings of yore. Instead, I like to focus on:
- Understanding the limits you can and cannot set with reporters. Talking into a microphone but saying it's off the record doesn't work, and you shouldn't expect it to.We'll review your role and the reporter's role in detail.
- Calibrating your responses to make sure you don't overreact, even if you disagree with the reporter, and that your leaders are using their "outside" voices rather than their "inside" baseball when speaking with reporters.
- Just how much time you have in a news story. The modern soundbite is down to about nine seconds. I use a framework for message development that will help you organize what you need to say crisply, while allowing you (or the reporter) to explore part of it in depth.
- Live interview practice to help you get good on your feet answering complex questions. This is really where people get caught the most, so it's the core of any training. I usually take the time to advise how you can avoid accidentally broadcasting things you wanted to keep quiet, too.
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