Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chilean miners get media training...should you?

I love that the Chilean miners received media training while still in the mine. We should all be this prepared before we face the press, right? Anyone who hopes to be interviewed by the media -- whether it's because of a crisis or a whizbang new product launch or the next best-seller -- should get some practice in front of a microphone before heading into the media glare.

How much training you get and who provides it depends on your budget and location. Business people, authors, and nonprofit leaders in major metropolitan areas can work with a local consultant who specializes in preparing people for media interviews. Google "media training" and your city for a list of consultants.

Those in smaller markets usually don't have access to these specialists, but can still do well working with a local public relations (not advertising) firm. Make sure you ask who and how many they've trained before and check references. Also consider hiring a local TV newscaster to moonlight for you. Veteran broadcasters know what questions you'll get asked, how they'll be asked, and what a good answer sounds like. Like consultants, local broadcasters can coach you in how to react and respond, how to speak in sound bites that will make sure your interview gets used, and what to avoid saying.

The miners were smart enough to get help. Learn from their experiences and line up your trainer now.

Have you received professional media training? How did it help you?