Q&A with Robert Luttrell on media training

1. What are the benefits of having a good media profile?
If people who do not have direct experience of a company, they will most likely form their impressions by what they see in the media. A positive media profile can help attract customers, staff and investors. It builds awareness and familiarity which in turn helps open doors.

2. What about the risks?
If you have established media relationships, you are more likely to be given the opportunity to defend yourself if something does go wrong. If you are seen to shy away from the media, there is a risk that you will be portrayed as having something to hide and therefore guilty. Learning how to respond to difficult questions is an important part of media training and good risk management practice.

3. What is the key to becoming good media talent?
Identify topics or issues that will appeal to the media. Have something interesting to say. Use simple language, be concise and be prepared to support any claims you make.

4. Who should be media trained in an organisation?
Anyone who may need to act as a spokesperson or deal with media enquiries. Typically, this would be the CEO or MD, but may also include subject matter experts from specific business units or functions.

5. What is the ideal number of people for a media training session?
One to four. Small groups are good as people get the opportunity to learn from one another.

6. What does it involve and how long does it take?
A media training session generally starts with an introduction explaining how the media operate, what makes news, how to formulate your messages and tips on what to do (and what not to do) when conducting an interview. This is then followed by simulated interviews on particular topics which are filmed and critiqued. The session can be a short as two hours for one-on-one to half a day for a group. After the session participants receive a report and DVD.