You might think that the questions are saved for our media training courses when our journalist tutors put your spokespeople to the test.
But they actually start way before that.
All our media training courses our bespoke which means that we need to find out a lot about you and the people you want to be trained before we put your training programme together.
That means our dedicated account managers will go through your requirements in forensic detail.
So, you can expect questions like these:
Why are you looking to do media training now?
People come to us for media training for many reasons. Sometimes it will be because they want to ensure they have enough spokespeople who can talk to the media, or to refresh the knowledge of their existing spokespeople.
At other times it might be because they have something on the horizon which is likely to generate media interest, whether it is positive, such as a new product launch, or negative, for example a site closure or impending court case.
On other occasions it can simply be because a recent media interview has gone badly and confidence has been dented.
Whatever the reason, it is imperative we understand the motivation behind the training requirement.
Who are you looking to get trained?
Delegates on media training courses vary greatly. Sometimes it will be chief executives and other members of senior leadership teams, but often training courses will feature graduates and new entrants or employees with a specific area of expertise.
Some courses consist of people at greatly differing stages of the career ladder.
Understanding the make-up of the course delegates is crucial for the tutors who will deliver the training.
What media interview experience do the delegates have?
This is another key part of the media training course design jigsaw. There is a big difference in delivering a course to people with extensive media experience who want to refresh their knowledge, and those who have never spoken to a journalist.
Perhaps the delegates have done a number of trade print interviews but our now looking to increase their coverage by making the leap to broadcast interviews. Or, to give another example, someone who has done a number of down-the-line interviews could feel uncomfortable if they were asked to do an interview in a studio.
What type of interviews is your organisation likely to face?
There are a lot of different ways someone could be interviewed. Telephone print interviews, Skype, down-the-line, studio sofa interviews and outside broadcasts are just some of the variations we use on our courses.
But there is little value in us devoting a large part of the course to a studio television interview if your organisation is expecting or hoping to generate specialist and local newspaper coverage.
Understanding the media interest your organisation is likely to receive enables us to tailor the focus of the training accordingly.
Where would you want the training to take place?
This is not just a question of logistics.
Although training can take place in your offices, radio and television studio style interviews may not be as realistic as those carried out on a course held in radio and television studios.
If you think it is imperative that your spokespeople have a realistic studio experience during their training, our account managers will work with you to find suitable facilities near you.
Or, you can come to our broadcast quality studios in Reading.
You can read more on the best location for media training here.
But the knowledge gathering doesn’t stop there. We also issue each participant with a pre course questionnaire to submit several days before the training takes place.
This allows us to delve a little deeper into their previous experience and training aspirations. If they have been interviewed before they will be asked to provide a summary of that experience.
They will also be asked to detail some subjects they would like to be interviewed on during the training and what they hope to achieve from taking part in the course. Of course, a comms and media team may have some idea of topics already but it’s interesting to get an idea from the delegates what they think, pre-course, could be newsworthy.
The questionnaire also covers all the essential housekeeping questions, such as dietary requirements and accessibility issues, to ensure the training day runs smooth.
Once we have gathered all this information it will then be handed to the journalist tutors who will deliver the training course.
And they use it in the same way they would when they are given a news story by a news editor or producer. They will begin to pull background information together from a range of sources, look at what your organisation have previously been in the news for, and look at what the wider issues are in your sector or industry. And it will help them form a line of questioning they will take on the day.
This detailed research adds another layer of realism to the training the delegates will experience on the course.
This process really helps our account managers to determine the shape of the media training course. They may also reveal that it is not media training that is required after all. The conversation could show, for example, that the training needs to focus on message development and testing or scenario-based crisis communications.
Want to know more? Speak to one of our dedicated account managers today on 0118 9180530 or email firstname.lastname@example.org