The importance of media training clients

The following blog post was written by ’97 Temple Alum, Jason Mollica.

In public relations, we are taught that preparation is key for any crisis or situation that may need our attention. But, it is equally important on how we train our clients. One of the integral parts to keeping a client prepared is media training.

How your client looks and sounds on television or comes across in a newspaper story can go a long way to showing they are credible. I entered public relations after a long career in television and radio. Taking that experience, I’ve been able to assist clients in making sure they are well prepared for the media.

Television can make or break you and your client if they are not prepared. Here are five examples of what you can teach your clients.

Rehearse: Just like you would practice the piano before a concert, it’s important to think over answers to possible questions from a reporter. Teach your client to review his talking points prior to any interviews.

Don’t Fear the Camera/Microphone: That light on top of the camera isn’t from an interrogator. It’s there to help make you look better. Remember, most reporters don’t want to make your clients look bad. They want the facts. There’s nothing to be afraid of.

Be Concise: Don’t give rambling answers. In television, soundbites run approximately 10-20 seconds. You need to get your message across in that amount of time. If you go longer, you risk having your message cut up.

New Media Awareness: Platforms like YouTube and blogs are very prevalent now. Newspapers use blogs to supplement their normal coverage. Some papers even turn their print reporters into new media journalists. Make certain your client is aware of any additional avenues a reporter may be using to tell a story.

Don’t Want to Read It? DON’T SAY IT: This seems simple enough, but there are people who feel the need to tell a reporter more than necessary. If it’s not something that needed to be revealed, damage control is necessary. Stick to the talking points!

Using these tips will not only assist your clients, they will also prove you are looking out for their well-being.

Jason Mollica is a 1997 graduate of Temple University’s School of Communications and Theater. Since then, he has worked in television and radio in Philadelphia and New York City. Upon leaving the industry in 2005, he began a career in public relations and marketing. He is currently the public relations manager for Carr Marketing Communications in Amherst, N.Y. You can follow him on Twitter, @JasMollica and read his blog at http://oneguysjourney.wordpress.com

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