Media relations represents an opportunity for your company to gain broad or focused exposure to key audiences you are trying to influence. In turn, this can have tremendous value for your company, whether stories result directly in sales that affect the bottom line; better positioning against competition; increased awareness of your company’s activities in front of current or potential investors; or, in extreme cases, the opportunity to tell “your side” of a negative story.
Media coaching, a service that McGrath/Power offers to our clients, has value to anyone involved in the media relations process, whether you are a seasoned communications veteran who’s done hundreds of interviews, or someone new to media relations. Through these sessions, we help our clients establish a solid understanding of the media climate, develop good preparation habits, learn the basic rules of engagement, and understand the varieties of media types and personalities.
If you’re new to the process of media interviews, it’s likely clear how coaching can be of benefit to you. But if you’ve been speaking with the media for as long as you can remember, there are absolutely scenarios in which media coaching can still be beneficial.
For instance, if your company has recently revised its messaging, it’s important that you train yourself to deliver those messages in the most impactful way. There will always be a headline that you want to drive home in your exchanges with media to underscore your primary message. Media coaching can not only help you hone in on that headline, but also ensure that you set it to memory and are able to replay it in conversations. Repetition makes a significant difference. In this case, practice makes permanent.
An interview is the opportunity to get your point across, and a reporter’s questions are the path to accomplish that. However, doing an interview is not just answering questions; it is being prepared to respond to the opportunity. Media coaching sessions build a foundation for that.