Course Highlights

This media relations course will:

  • Outline what the media can and can’t do for an organization.
  • Provide participants with a framework for crafting messages that attract attention.
  • Give participants the skills to create a press release that stands out.
  • Prepare your group to speak with reporters and talk show hosts.
  • Offer guidance related to crisis management.

Course Overview

Few people manage the media well without some coaching and training in the art and craft of story management and interacting with reporters. This interactive media relations training course is designed for anyone in an organization who may be approached by members of the media and thrust into the spotlight. From planning messages to crisis communications, this course will prepare staff to professionally represent themselves and their organizations in print, online, and over the airwaves.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Understand what motivates reporters, editors, and radio/TV producers.
  • Explain the importance of managing what is reported about them and their organizations.
  • Distinguish news from fluff and filler.
  • Craft a newsworthy story pitch.
  • Write a solid press release.
  • Give reporters usable, on-message information.
  • Avoid making “no comment” remarks and taking other actions that anger the press.
  • Provide radio and television interviewers with sound bites they can use.
  • Prepare to communicate during a crisis.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content to meet your business objectives. Upon request, you will get a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

What’s Your Story?: Understanding Media Management

This program kicks off with a lively discussion about the importance of creating a newsworthy message before reporters start asking questions. Through group discussion and exercises, participants will learn how the news machine works, what news is and isn’t, and the importance of a well-crafted story. 

For Immediate Publication: Mastering the Press Release

During this part of the program, participants will examine the role of the press release and dissect its elements. Through examples, they will learn what factors contribute to a release that gets results versus one that is ignored. Armed with that information, they will practice creating a sample release.

Avoiding Crossed Wires: Speaking with Reporters on the Phone

A reporter is on the phone, perhaps in response to a release or maybe unexpectedly. No matter the reason for the call, the reporter is ready to talk, and you’ve got one chance to get it right. This program segment prepares participants to handle telephone inquiries from the media: how to navigate a typical interview, how to provide usable information, how to be quotable, and how to switch to another communication method if the phone call falls short. 

Be a Good Guest: Rocking the Radio Interview

Successful radio interviews follow a specific formula, and if you’re not dialed in, it’s easy to commit a host of on-air mistakes. This part of the workshop examines the radio interview structure, the rhythm of conversation, dealing with unprepared hosts, and handling comments from those who call in.  During this program segment, participants will participate in mock radio interviews and evaluate their ability to communicate over the airwaves.

Think Inside the Box: Tackling Television

As with radio, television comes with its own rules for success. This segment examines the ins and outs of looking good and sounding good on camera. From delivering a succinct message to choosing body language that communicates confidence and authority, participants will receive coaching to improve their on-camera presence and message delivery skills. 

911: Creating a Crisis Management Plan

It is often said that “everything is fine until it isn’t.”  When it isn’t, a well-thought-out plan is critical. This final part of the course looks at message management during uncertain times. Through case studies and practice exercises, participants will learn the importance of having a solid crisis communication plan in place long before it is needed.

By the conclusion of this program, participants should have a solid understanding of the steps they must take to prepare for media interactions.