Crisis Management: Media Training – Insurance in Your Hip Pocket: Crisis communications
“You don’t know what you’ve got… until you lose it.” A common saying.
“You don’t know what you need… until it’s too late.” A variation of that saying.
Now let me suggest something to get before it’s too late. Media training.
Media training – learning to prepare and convey your messages in public forums – is essential to a) enhance or protect a reputation in the public eye, b) improve communications skills in non-media settings, and 3) protect the bottom line. In my opinion, it is as critical as knowledge of sales, marketing, and leadership.
Media training prevents communications trouble.
Let’s look at a client crisis.
In this case, an organization alleged disturbing environmental allegations about a company in news releases sent throughout the area. My understandably worried client paged me for assistance with reporters who were calling to check out the claims. What should he do and say? With newscasts impending within hours, the situation was aggravated by the fact that I was a thousand miles away in another state.
Nevertheless, we were able to plot our actions by telephone. We could act constructively because we were applying principles jointly learned through media training months earlier. The resulting news coverage was reasonable and two-sided with my client reassuring the public. The issue faded.
The client and I were able to call upon skills learned within the previous year. Instead of reacting combatively or argumentatively or not at all, as some do, these company executives were forthcoming, helpful, and willing to explain their side. I think it is possible, even likely, that without the previous training the client might have acted self-destructively. Indeed there was brief consideration of stonewalling reporters, but that tactic was dropped because of our previous collaboration.
Insurance in Your Hip Pocket
Obtaining media training is like getting an insurance policy to protect you during a crisis. During a tense time in business, anxiety can lead to panic and to self-destructive behavior. Consider advance preparation and the peace of mind it affords. Schedule media training just as you do training for sales and marketing and management.
Some day you will be glad you did.