Media Training

Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, reporters aren’t demons obsessed with your demise. Most of the journalists you’re likely to meet are regular Joes. They’re also probably overworked, underpaid and overstressed about the editors and producers who demand something new every day to “feed the beast”. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of sharks out there. But think about it, when you visit the beach you’re more likely to see a minnow than a great white.

To avoid becoming a scrap of “beast food”, you have to control your message. Fail to take control, and someone else will do it for you.

If you have a story to share and want coverage, you have to remember the central element a reporter will be looking for (whether he or she realizes it or not). Conflict.

Now, before you jump to the stereotypical conclusion that you must avoid being in the news because all news is bad news, consider this: all stories worth your attention really do have an element of conflict. Ever since we dragged our knuckles to a seat around the campfire for a recount of the wooly mammoth hunt, we’ve been drawn to stories about overcoming an obstacle. That’s the conflict. It’s why we root for Rocky Balboa, right? The trick is to make yourself the champion. Rise above the obstacle. Overcome the conflict. Meet the challange. Offer a people-oriented solution.

Keep these things in mind, and your encounters with the media will make more sense, go more smoothly, and better tell your story.

Here are a couple of examples of video lessons from the media training curriculum I created with my friend Ron Miller of Ron Miller & Associates Public Relations:

The Myth of Going “Off the Record”

Three Things to NEVER do in an Interview