- the rules of the road in journalism, or what you're responsible for as a source versus what the journalist is (and isn't) responsible for in the interview exchange;
- how to receive and handle media interview requests, with a list of questions you get to ask reporters so you can be better prepared;
- how to answer media interview questions without sounding like a robot or failing to let the reporter get a question in edgewise;
- how to respond rather than react to questions that get under your skin, sound inane and obvious, and hide assumptions you need to address;
- how to identify and prepare for the questions you want, expect and fear, and why it's the questions you want that may be the hardest to answer;
- how to use a three-point message to answer questions and offer options in an interview;
- how to make sure the reporter takes away your points, without asking to see the story before it appears;
- how you act and react in practice interviews, and how to use what you observe to handle interviews better next time.
Do you need a media training or a strategy session?
Media training. Public speaking training. They're not the same.
While public speaking and media interviews are both types of public speech, they're not the same thing. I can tell you which core skills apply to both situations, but media interview skills require more specialized knowledge of the workings of journalism. That's not to say that public speaking is easier--far from it. But the considerations are different. Read Should you ask for media training or speaker training? How to decide to find out more.
Well, that wouldn't be 1:1, now, would it? I discourage observers generally, but in the case of media training, I include the media relations director or spokesperson who'll be working with the interview trainee at no extra charge. Further observers are discouraged. Let's discuss your thinking and goals if you wish to include an observer.
Specialized media training for communications pros
Although you work with reporters on a daily basis, you may never have moderated a press conference or planned for crisis communications. I can work with you to learn the specialist skills communicators need to do even better in their work with reporters.
I also run a popular workshop, Be an Expert on Working with Experts, for communicators who work with scientists, engineers, policy wonks and other subject-matter experts, including putting experts before news media. You can sign up for several sessions throughout the year or I can bring the workshop to your communications team. Just email me at eloquentwoman AT gmail DOT com for more information or to get on the waiting list.
(Creative Commons licensed photo from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)