You have completed your media training and have had a taste of being interviewed in front of the camera and microphone.
You may still feel a little daunted about being interviewed in the real world, which is perfectly natural. You may also be champing at the bit to get started but your organisation is not currently in the media limelight.
So what should you do with your newly learnt skills before you get to put them into practice?
The most important thing after your media training is that you continue to develop your skills.
Make sure that you read any feedback you received following your course and watch any videos and sound recordings you have been given of your performance. Don’t be shy or embarrassed about them. They will help you build on the verbal feedback you received on the day.
Watch and listen to news programmes on different channels and radio stations and think about how the people they are interviewing are performing. Are they getting their messages across? Are they using the bridging technique? What would you do differently if you were in their shoes?
Blogs are another easy way to read the latest thinking and add to your learning. There are plenty out there to choose from including the 'blogs' section on our website. If you are on Twitter or Facebook try searching #mediatraining for regular tips.
Tell your comms team you are happy to be interviewed
Just because you have now been trained does not automatically mean your comms team will call on you to be the organisation’s spokesperson in the next interview.
They are likely to have some people they regularly rely on to perform this role and may automatically turn to them.
Let them know that you enjoyed the training and now feel ready to be interviewed. Maybe you are more comfortable with radio interviews than television. Specify areas of the business where you would feel confident to be interviewed. This enthusiasm and information will be music to their ears.
And it will be great for you – there is no better way to raise your profile in your industry or sector than by becoming a media spokesperson.
Know your organisation’s key messages and work on your examples
The importance of good preparation for an interview will have been stressed on your course and it starts now. Your organisation’s communications team will have an overall strategy containing its key messages. Make sure you become familiar with these so you can confidently include them in an interview. You may of course need to refine them with your comms team when you know exactly what you are being interviewed on.
Examples are a key component of any successful media interview, helping bring what you say to life.
Stories about people add colour and emotion to any subject. They also make what you are saying more memorable. Start work on presenting them now and use them to support your key messages.
Practice with colleagues
Don’t wait until you are put in front of a camera or microphone to practice your new skills.
Fine tune them and put them into practice in the workplace.
Prepare some questions you may be asked in an interview and get a colleague or friend to ask them. Don’t leave out the tough ones.
If you have already got an interview planned, think about the questions a journalist is likely to be asking and run through them with a colleague. Ask them to think about whether you are delivering your key messages and taking control of the interview or merely answering the questions.
Do an interview as soon as possible
This is the key one. There’s no substitute for getting stuck in and we believe that if the opportunity arises you should look to do a real media interview as soon as possible. Put into practice what you have learnt and watch you confidence grow. And don’t forget to let us know how it went – we love hearing that people we have trained have done a good job.
Media First are media and communications training specialists with over 30 years of experience. We have a team of trainers, each with decades of experience working as journalists, presenters, communications coaches and media trainers. To find out more about our highly practical Media Skills courses, contact us here.