Media Relations and Media Training
Good relations with the media – old and new – form the bedrock of any organisation’s reputation with the wider world. Strong media handling helps you promote positive messages about your goals, policies or products while mitigating the impact of bad news or impeding negative campaigns against you.
It is vital to understand the news cycle, the way stories are put together, and the pressures, editorial priorities and deadlines that journalists work to. Most of important of all, you need to know how these factors have evolved dramatically with the onset of digital media.
Good media relations require a blend of forward planning and rapid reaction capacity. Set-piece events – like press conferences, press releases or staged interviews – can be prepared for to boost the chance of a good showing in the press. Real-time news rarely allows time for such preparation, however.
In which case you need training to help you respond to unforeseen calls from journalists or “door-step” interviews, or to help you produce punchy soundbites that resonate well with the media. You also need to develop a skill for predicting how the media will handle an issue, story or crisis facing your business, and for turning a story around before it causes damage.
Encounters with the media tend to go better if you already have strong relationships with key journalists. A programme for building such relationships is vital to any durable media strategy.