There mere thought of being interviewed by the media leaves most people sweating. And frankly, it should. The vast majority of people, including those who are currently assigned to be their company’s spokesperson, are simply not ready to talk to the press in a crisis situation.
One of the most common pitfalls we see is a sense of confidence built up by doing a number of ‘good news’ interviews. Most trainees who come to us with this type of experience feel great about their skills…until about 3 minutes into our crisis-related media training course. The questions are not the same, the level of aggression from the reporters is way amped up, and those softballs you were tossed when you were doing the ‘good news’ interviews go right out the window. Being truly prepared to deliver crisis interviews means learning what to expect, keeping up on the latest tactics, and practice, practice, practice to keep your skills sharp.
If you’re the person responsible for communicating in your organization, or would like to become that person, this list of 33 media training tips from Udemy and Elena Verlee will make a good additional to your study materials.
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For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management
[Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is vice president for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]