Are You Ready to Meet The Press?
Think about this for a moment: Aspiring
journalists typically go to some sort of journalism
school, where they spend several years learning their
craft. Once they graduate, they are often required
to attend yet another intensive training program at
the newspaper or broadcast outlet that hires them.
One of the central themes of their training concerns
the need for thorough preparation. They spend hundreds
of hours learning how to make use of advanced research
techniques, coached in the art of asking difficult
questions and taught to look for "conflict"
and "colour" in the stories they cover.
to conducting an interview with a business person,
a journalist might spend countless hours sifting through
corporate reports, news clippings and search engine
results. They might then spend many more hours working
with their editorial team to plan the flow of an interview
-- anticipating how their interview subject will answer
questions, and forming follow-up questions designed
to catch them off-guard.
THE BUSINESS PLAN
Contrast that with the average business person's preparation
prior to an interview. Most have never even seen the
inside of a news room. They have limited understanding
about "the rules of the game" -- and can
often be duped into saying things during an interview
that they shudder to read the following day.
Our media training program is designed to even up
the playing field for business people. Over the years,
it has proven to be an incredibly valuable resource
for our clients. Through it, they are very quickly
educated about the traps to avoid when dealing with
the news media. They also gain the knowledge and confidence
that is necessary for media interviews and interaction.
WHO: Tom Haibeck, APR is widely
acknowledged as one of British Columbia’s most
effective communications strategists, and has specialized
in media relations/training for the past 20 years.
WHAT: A customized training seminar
on how to communicate your organization’s message
through the news media/how to handle sensitive media
WHEN: At a time of your company’s
convenience. The sessions are generally conducted
over a full day, which runs from 9:00 a.m. -- 4:00
p.m. Half day sessions are also available.
WHERE: In order to minimize interruptions
and help focus participant’s attention, sessions
are usually held in a location separate from the client’s
office, such as a hotel meeting room.
WHY: To help raise participant’s
awareness and understanding about how the news media
operates, and to give them “hands on”
experience in being interviewed and in communicating
their company’s message.
HOW: The seminar is conducted through
a highly entertaining and informative program that
offers case studies, media do's and don'ts, simulated
interviews and spokesperson critiques. All sessions
are considered to be completely private and confidential.
Over the past 20 years, my associates and I have developed
this program into what we believe is one of the finest
training systems of its kind in Canada. We have conducted
the seminar for a broad range of clients, drawn from
a wide variety of categories (law; government; retail;
financial services; health care; tourism; manufacturing;
professional services; non-profit; high technology).
Without exception, each of our clients has expressed
great satisfaction with the results of the seminar.
Our goals in conducting the seminar are basically
1. To work with you and your associates in helping
develop a better understanding of how the news media
operates, who they are and what their needs are;
2. To give you and your colleagues "hands on"
experience in being interviewed, and to offer suggestions
on how to improve each participant’s interview
skills to become a more effective spokesperson for
The sessions include the following components:
a) Pre-seminar research to identify the pertinent
issues affecting your organization, plus a review
of each participant's needs and background with respect
to the subject of media relations;
b) A full review of the media’s role and needs,
recommendations on how to develop a positive working
relationship with the press, plus interview tips and
on-camera, video-taped interviews for up to ten participants;
c) Review and critique of interviews by facilitator
at seminar (time permitting);
d) A special manual for each participant on interview
tips and dealing with the news media;
e) Assistance in preparing recommended “positioning
statements” on sensitive issues affecting your
company (this is an optional service, for which additional
fees will apply).
The cost of renting an external meeting room and the
serving of refreshments/lunch within that room is
borne by the client. Camera and other audio-visual
equipment is provided as part of the overall fee.
Our approach with media training is always constructive;
we will never seek to embarrass anyone or cause undue
trauma. Our purpose is to help your spokespeople gain
the experience and confidence necessary to successfully
communicate your organization's message, whether they
are appearing in front of a live television camera
or addressing a crowded auditorium at an Annual General
For a confidential review of our media training services,
please call me any time at 604-671-5491 or e-mail