It is important to realize that none of us are born with the innate ability to deal with the media. It is a complex set of skills acquired over time, much like the best carpenters, computer programmers, and doctors gain expertise. That is why media training is such a critical component for any organization that wants to strengthen its media relations.
Clearly, the interview with the reporter is where performance counts. But don’t ignore the learning moments that take place before and after. One key to success when it comes to your advance preparation is summed up in three little words: Practice! Practice! Practice!
An honest self-critique is also fundamental. Record yourself with a video camera, speak into an audio recorder, or arrange for colleagues to lob questions at you. Such practice sessions are essential.
You may view yourself on videotape or listen to an audio recording of your voice and think you are witnessing a stranger. Rest assured, this is a common occurrence. Keep in mind as you practice, what matters is how others see and hear you when you strive to impart your message.
I have long cherished my catalog of my favorite practice methods and exercises, numbering in the dozens. Of course, I don’t use every one in each media training workshop. In fact, some have not been used in years. That’s okay. That menu developed over time has proven invaluable when needed in just the right situation.
How do you rehearse when your turn to practice for a media interview arises?