External Communications: Giving successful media interviews
Led by: Frank Wintle
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Surviving and succeeding in a world of spin, sensation and scepticism.
Who should attend:
This one-day workshop gives corporate spokespeople simulations of media encounters, helps them to understand media motivations and story structures, and equips candidates to work proactively in interviews. If you face the media or will have to in the future, you will find this workshop an invaluable resource. If you have already done so and found the experience uncomfortable or mysterious, it is a necessity. And it is also very pertinent for PR directors and managers and others who organise and coach corporate spokespeople.
1 Day course
Minimum 10, maximum 20 recommended.
It's easy to forget, amid the razzmatazz of punning headlines, witty copy, star columnists and snazzy photographs, that journalism is a business too, and an ever-more ruthless one at that, from the top right down to the lowliest trade magazine.
You wouldn't dream of going to a meeting with a potential client without researching the prospect and getting as many clues as possible about their imperatives, their objectives, and their culture.
And yet, many interviewees waltz into interviews with no notion of what's about to hit them.
Topics / Content:
1. Introduction (9.30)
The goals for the day
Workshop style: energising, interactive, compelling
2. Anatomy of media and the interview
What is this thing called spin? Understanding the media in the 21st century
"Save the pitch, pal" - sorry, this ain't advertising
Space chasing content - the golden opportunity
Space chasing content - the problem of audience fatigue
The importance of story and narrative - the power of the parable
The nature of the interview: who's in charge
The importance of character and personality
Getting the preparations right
3. Discovering a natural style
Timing; body language
Delivering the story: impact and presentation; emotion, anecdote, colour
4. Coffee (11.00)
5. Structuring a story (11.15)
The nature of context
What makes news?
Building blocks for an effective sound bite and interview
Developing a narrative and plotting the story
6. Accentuating the positive
In this session, participants will break into two groups each working with one of the presenters. Each person will prepare a positive story and will be invited to deliver it in an interview setting, and then receive the reactions of the rest of the group.
Was it a story? Was it believable? Did the delivery work?
7. Lunch (1.15)
8. Preparing for the negative (2.15)
"There may be trouble, ahead" - some danger signals
Finding the bridge from hostile question to positive answer
A four-step strategy when you're banged to rights
A four-step strategy when you're in the right.
9. In the line of fire (2.45)
In this session, participants will break into two groups each working with one of the presenters. Each person will prepare a negative story and will be invited to deliver it in an interview setting, and then receive the reactions of the rest of the group.
Did they 'kill' the story? How did they perform? Did they keep their cool?
10. Discussions and conclusion (4.30)
The two groups will reassemble to discuss their experiences and outstanding issues. There will be a check-list of the day's most important points
11. End of workshop agenda (5.00)
By participating in this workshop, you will:
Understand how the media world is changing, and read, listen and watch the media with greater comprehension
Appreciate what the media do and don't want from you
Know when you have a story and how to make it "media shaped"
Learn what constitutes good interview material
Learn how to organise that material effectively
Understand how you should behave in an interview, and keep on the front foot
Accept your limitations - but have a greater awareness of your potential
Recognise danger signals, or spot at least some of the traps
Approach hostile encounters calmly and with confidence, learn how to keep afloat when things get rough.
£500 + Vat per delegate.
For ten years he has run his own London-based communications consultancy, offering courses in internal and external communications, individual coaching in communications skills, and agenda, production and presentation services for business seminars. His clients include BT, Caledonia Oil and Gas, Cisco Systems, Deloitte, the international Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams, HSBC, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and Virgin Money. He also trains Peace Observers in reporting and diary-keeping before their tours of duty in the Middle East.