Media training. Crisis management. Meet them head on, with confidence.
Learn how to handle the media, how to prepare for crises and deal with them effectively. I can give one-on-one coaching or a group workshop to get you prepared.
In the age where everyone is a journalist, responding to the media can be a truly daunting task. But with the right preparation and coaching, it doesn't have to be. Here are a few basic hints to get you started . . .
Giving media interviews: prepare well, never get angry
Just ‘winging it’ during an interview can be dangerous. Instead use these tips:
Ahead of the interview
- Define your own clear answers to the questions you fear most. They're the ones that are likely.
- Ask how the interview will be used, and see if they'll provide you the questions in advance.
- Know your content inside and out - and rehearse in role-play with a team member.
During the interview
- Relax, smile and be open - and remember the interviewer's name!
- Give brief concise answers, then just stop and smile. Don't waffle on to fill time.
- Never say 'no comment'. It is not a clever way to dodge a bullet - in fact it suggests guilt.
- Don't talk 'off the record'. There is no agreement about what this means. Assume that absolutely anything you say - or write - could be quoted.
- Be prepared for 'what do you really think' type questions. Have a reply that feels authentic.
- If you think it will be hostile, record the interview with the device visible.
- Have a pre-arranged signal to your staff that triggers you being called away.
PR crises: plan ahead, react intelligently
Crises come up suddenly and unexpectedly; that's why they are called crises.
They also have a strong tendency to catch individuals and organizations completely off-guard - and to make everyone look unprepared at best, incompetent or even criminal at worst. Here are some sensible steps you can take in managing unexpected events:
Before the storm clouds appear
- Identify your most likely types of PR crises, and map a basic response to each
- Establish a crisis team and workflows that kick in when a crisis hits
- Arrange media training
When a crisis breaks
- Activate the crisis team
- Gather all the facts
- Develop and select your response; honesty is the best policy
- Schedule regular updates if it becomes an ongoing event