You know the story. Interviews are ahead and the word comes down: it’s time for media training. These trainers do provide excellent service; having witnessed superstar trainer Jeff Ansell in action, I am duly impressed with what he and others accomplish with anxious chief executives. The media landscape has changed greatly and here is the other side of preparing for interviews. The situation isn’t as bad as worried communicators may think. Here’s what they don’t tell you about media training:
- The media has no teeth. They don’t ask tough questions.
- As there are fewer and fewer people in the conventional press, interview quality has worsened over time, with too few people trying to write too many stories. It won’t be getting better either.
- Unless you are in the centre of a scandal, or a major political issue, interviews will not be overly demanding, with or without training.
- Overpreparing is as bad as underpreparing—the best tactic is to be natural and know your story but not repeat something rote.
- Key messages are passé and have outlived their usefulness. Preparing them over and over is a waste of time. Storytelling is more important. Tell a good story.
I predict: the next training expertise will be “How to tell a good story and captivate the media.”