Print newsrooms are shrinking. Just last month, the Cleveland Plain Dealer laid off a third of its unionized news staff. According to Pew Research, from 2008 to 2017, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 23%.

It’s looking more and more bleak for the news that runs in black and white.

Despite these developments, television newsrooms have remained relatively steady — even increasing staff over the same time period by adding multimedia journalists to their rosters. Public demand for news, combined with its immediacy (viral videos, 24/7 news cycles) are indicators that having a prepared spokesperson for your business is critical, regardless of type of company or industry.

The best way to prepare for interactions with a journalist is through media training, typically a full- or half-day session in a studio-like setting with camera practice. Whether you’re prepping for a sit-down interview or a live broadcast by phone, the skills you’ll gain are valuable.

Over the years, we’ve conducted dozens of training sessions, with groups ranging from 2 to 20 people. Everyone we’ve trained has left with defined and easy to remember techniques, but here are a few additional benefits you can expect after a training session in studio.

    1. Message preparation: Getting an interview is the easy part. More difficult is honing your message. Having a tool to structure your key messages so they are memorable is critical. Our message pyramid and advance work to help whittle down your story into bite-size soundbites is the unsung hero of the entire day.
    2. Understanding of how news outlets work: If you have gone through media training before and it was more than 10 years ago, it’s time for a refresher. With the advent of social media, the media landscape has changed drastically and the way journalists mine for stories has evolved.
    3. Knowing where to look: Sounds simple, but this one is important. You’ll learn the best practices for different types of interviews, because each one is unique and different. We’ll help you avoid that embarrassing moment of speaking into the wrong camera during a live interview!
    4. Answering the tough questions: Not all interviews are equal. Sometimes, even with the best prepared messages, you can be caught off-guard by a question. We teach participants how to navigate through the really tough questions to get to the answer they want to give.
    5. Confidence: This is our favorite benefit. Without a doubt, everyone who sits down in front of the camera is nervous their first time. But after some practice with our experts, everyone leaves feeling more confident than when they arrived. They feel more in control and empowered. If you or someone on your team is a spokesperson, we’d love to talk to you about how media training can help you better share your company story. Or, click here to download our guide to crisis and media communications.