In my seven years as a broadcast reporter, the most uncomfortable interviews I experienced weren’t during a crisis or from an investigative story. Those cringe-worthy moments came during ordinary interviews with company spokespeople who were unprepared. What should have been an easy interview for both the reporter and interviewee was made difficult by their nervousness and lack of polish. That’s where media training can make a big difference.
At Three Box, the media training we teach our clients is simple. We explain what reporters do and how they work, introduce the interview process, brainstorm potential questions and host a mock interview. We provide clients information to put them at ease and prepare them for interviews. Here’s a preview of our media training service.
As a former reporter, I find that this step is crucial. We explain what reporters are (insightful and observant) and what they are not (your friend or enemy). By examining reporters, we can eliminate some of the natural fear of an interview, while also providing a healthy dose of skepticism. Reporters are there to do a job – interviewees need to understand and respect that.
The Interview Process
Why are they asking that question? What’s b-roll? Should I say, “no comment”? These are some of the questions we go over in this section of training. We want you to feel comfortable with the set up and requests the reporter might have. This is where we go over the materials and skills needed for a successful interview (ex. key messaging, bridging, researching the reporter and media outlet).
Here, we can tackle the areas where you or your company may have weaknesses, while also building up areas to highlight. Difficult questions are always tricky to maneuver, but through media training and prepared messaging, we can be ready for them.
This portion of our process can be uncomfortable, but it’s critical to training. We do a 10-minute, on-camera interview, where we go through a range of questions – from the plausible to the bizarre. Again, reporters are inquisitive, and you might get a strange question or two. After the mock interview, we’ll send you the interview footage to study, along with our notes on areas for improvement.
After media training, clients are equipped to represent their company on-camera as well as they do when it’s off.