The Business of Communication

Ever noticed how the mechanic’s cars often break down, builders live in unfinished homes and yes, let’s be honest – how those of us in the communications sector sometimes fail to communicate effectively?

In the context of media training, the communication between the media team and the trainer they have engaged is absolutely pivotal in the success (or otherwise) of the session.

This relationship and the pre-course work truly can be the difference between elevating your spokesperson’s media performance and just “going through the motions” of another media training session.

Every organisation and every media training participant will have different motivations and varying deficiencies in media related skill sets and competence. It’s absolutely vital that these voids and deficiencies are discussed in detail ahead of the session, so the training has an absolute clear objective and focus. Otherwise you will be wasting money on going through the motions of delivering cookie-cutter media training to do little more than tick a box. Anyone can deliver a cookie-cutter media training session – it takes considerable planning and experience to factor in the variables which lead to truly effective training and measurable improvement.

My recommendation to media/communications managers would be (in the majority of cases) at least a week before the session, give really careful consideration to things like –

  • The structure of interview scenarios,
  • The key messages,
  • Message format and structure,
  • The likely and most feared questions the spokesperson will encounter,
  • The interview formats you would like the spokespeople tested in,
  • The specific areas each participant needs to focus on and communicate these things really clearly and honestly to the trainer.

One of the benefits of engaging an external consultant is that they can often deliver confronting feedback to senior executives and spokespeople within your organisation, in the process acting as a buffer between yourself and your colleague – but still delivering the necessary feedback. The consultant or trainer can readily and address spokespeople who venture off message, those who are over-confident or simply are not listening to the informed advice of the communications executive.

To be effective, the pre-training strategy must be clarified with the trainer in advance of the session. When these issues arise and become evident half way through the session, they are considerably harder (and sometimes impossible) to address – if clarified up-front, a strategy can be factored in to the session to manage it appropriately.

Please feel free to call or email Saltwater Media Solutions to discuss your organisation’s media training requirements.

Kinds regards

Luke Waters