What is this media training stuff all about anyway?
A while back, when I was promoting one of our media training courses, a person weighed in on Twitter with a comment that was quite misleading. I can't remember what it was exactly, I think something about how media training teaches people how to avoid answering questions or some such thing.
She was way off base, and while I wasn't shy about pointing it out, what I found especially heartening is that others who had actually taken our training were quick to weigh in to set her straight. It was wonderful to see. You know who you are, and thank you again for that.
My intent here isn't to drudge that up, in fact that lady had the courage to reach out to me privately to apologize, something I saw as quite classy, and appreciated.
But I bring it up now for a specific reason. There is still a lot of misconception about what media training is and since we have another course coming up, I want to take a moment to explain what it is and what it is not in regards to media questions.
In our media training we teach techniques on how to take as much control of an interview as possible. Reporters go into interviews with an agenda, and we teach that you should too. But our philosophy is also that if you are asked an honest question, it deserves an honest answer.
This isn't about question avoidance unless there is a legitimate reason why you shouldn't answer a question, and the key word there is legitimate. That doesn't mean a convoluted reason, but a real one that goes beyond just not wanting to. And if there is a good reason not to answer a question, you'll learn how to handle it properly so you don't look like Mike Duffy trying to sneak out through a hotel kitchen to avoid answering a question about where he lives.
Ah but that's another issue for another day, isn't it?
Let me end on a general point about our media training. When all is said and done, it's about telling your story; it's about delivering your key messages as effectively as possible. It's about effective communication.
There are a number of tried and true techniques that help you do that, and lots of tips that help.
At the risk of turning this into an infomercial, there are also some pretty cool good and bad video examples (the bad ones are more fun) and lots of practice both on and off camera.
The full day workshop is coming up on March 19th. Go here to get details and once on that site, scroll down to see what past participants have to say.