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Think you can do without media training? Think again
25th June 2019 By Natalie Loveless

Generally, people are under the illusion that media training is exclusively for those constantly in the limelight, or perhaps those preparing to go into a villa on a popular reality TV show, or exclusively for high profile politicians or celebs. Although this might be the case for some of these, something that recently became apparent to me was how little my friends and family understood about media training. What they didn’t realise, is that media training is a bespoke service incorporating a whole host of skills, specifically tailored to your business needs. Not just for the camera ready, media training covers everything from message development, to radio interview practice, to crisis communications and everything in between. As a recent addition to the Media Zoo family, I sat down with Sion Taylor, ex-senior BBC journalist and Senior Counsel at Media Zoo, to find out why media training is so important to businesses everywhere.

NL: So I’ll put one of the main recurring questions to you, what is media training and is it really needed?

ST: The reality is that most businesses engage with some form of media on a daily basis, so it just makes sense to ensure your team is as prepared as possible. Media training focuses on three essential questions: 1) Who is your audience? 2) What do you want them to think, feel, say or do? 3) What do you have to tell them to achieve this? Not only is this the foundation of a successful media interview, but also essential for almost any aspect of business. Sophisticated media training will equip you to handle even the most difficult questions in a way that builds your credibility, which is essential to deliver your business objectives. So yes, you absolutely do need it!

NL: I have a media interview coming up but I hate the sound of my voice and I’m completely camera shy. How can I come across confident, maintain control of the interview and still deliver my business message effectively?

ST: Media interviews are tricky. If you ignore the questions and just deliver your messages, you end up sounding like a clunky politician and lose all credibility.  If you just answer the questions, you’re playing to the journalist’s agenda and not your own. Our job is to show you how to answer the questions AND deliver your messages, even if you have no experience on camera. Just remember that all media interviews are an opportunity to reach your audiences and tell them what they need to hear, in order to deliver on your business objectives.

NL: But what about those who don’t have any media contact at work?

ST: Media training still applies! It can teach you how to use language as a powerful, focused business tool, effective control techniques to keep the conversation on your agenda, and how to use body language to help deliver your story. All of these skills play into every meeting you ever have, making you more effective in every aspect of your business. This means that you will have more effective conversations with partners, customers, suppliers, unions, competitors, politicians, regulators and so on.

NL: So you’re saying that I can use media training skills throughout my general work life?

ST:  Yes absolutely - the tools and processes we teach in media training still work brilliantly for internal conversations. So many of our clients ask us to work with their mid and senior leaders to make them more effective in the way they lead their teams. If you change the conversation, then you change the culture. Our message development courses prove particularly effective in this area.

NL: Why is it important to choose the right company for media training?

ST: We’ve been doing this for many years at Media Zoo and we’ve perfected our training courses to a simple yet effective formula that impresses the client every time. Believe it or not, some trainers are still out there claiming that you shouldn’t wear white shirts on screen, amongst other arbitrary advice, so it’s really important to make sure you choose a company with the knowledge, expertise and a method that works. With our state of the art three camera recording studio, tailored approach to each client, participant and training needs, and an experienced team of senior ex-journalist media trainers, you’ll only receive the best from Media Zoo.

Get in touch with natalie@mediazoo.tv to make media training an asset to your business.

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