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How Does Media Training Prepare Leaders for Crisis Communication?



Business, government, and institution leaders handle numerous responsibilities to keep their organizations running like a well-oiled machine every day. Part of their duties is to plan for and successfully manage any crisis that could arise at any time, which could put the organization's stability at risk.


There are several different examples of crises that leaders can face. A natural disaster such as an earthquake or tsunami could strike in their location. A company could fall victim to a severe cybersecurity attack. They could be facing a massive product recall or external product sabotage. An accident may have occurred within company property, injuring countless workers. There may be severe rumors or allegations that need to be addressed.


The immediate goal is to assess the situation, identify threats, make critical decisions, and handle conflicts. Leaders must also deliver the right message to all the essential parties: their staff, customers, clients, suppliers, partners, stakeholders, the media, and the general public.


This is where media training comes in.



What Is Media Training?


Media training prepares organizations or individuals to communicate effectively with the media and the public.


Effective communication is necessary when an organization finds itself in an unexpected crisis. A leader must be prepared to deliver accurate information, explain their crucial next moves, and answer pressing questions from the media.


Some issues may be uncomfortable to address. The company's reputation may be at stake. The organization may need to build or reinforce trust.


Learning best practice crisis communication techniques to use in a crisis is a valuable investment any company or institution can make to properly prepare for, respond to, and recover from any scenario.



Why It Pays to Sign Up for Professional Media Training Courses


● You learn from the best possible teachers.


Trainers are seasoned directors, producers, journalists, freelance copywriting services providers, and presenters who live for effective communication.


Analyzing situations, gathering information, putting together a situation-appropriate message, and delivering it to audiences in the most effective and impactful way possible is precisely what trainers are thoroughly experienced in. These communication experts will surely have a wealth of tips, insights, and advice that can help shape your public relations strategy in the middle of a crisis.


● These trainers are well-versed in the interviewer's approach.


Media training veterans work specifically with crucial decision-makers, top executives, industry leaders, and influential personalities. These trainers know how media interviewers think and how they will likely navigate and steer conversations to derive information from senior spokespersons and company representatives.




● Professional media trainers know what looks and sounds good.


As previously mentioned, media training specialists are often also professional directors, event presenters, and senior writers. Doing research, crafting speeches or scripts, speaking in public, and producing informative and entertaining videos and film productions are second nature to them.


They understand that audiences respond well to particular messages and recoil from others. They know what a captivating short film or keynote address looks like, and they can teach leaders to make a successful public appearance built on the same principles.




How Does Media Training Prepare Leaders for Communicating During a Crisis?


1. Media training takes leaders through crisis scenarios.


Every corporate crisis is different. And while no company would ever want to have to face all of them in real life, practicing how to speak to traditional media or release statements on social media in case those crises do arise can help leaders prepare their organizations to communicate with all concerned parties promptly, with all the pertinent information needed in the forefront.


This way, everyone can walk away from the interview, press conference, or written statement posted online satisfied with the news or updates they received, so they can adequately act on the situation at hand.



2. Media training helps leaders compose a powerful message for the appropriate circumstance.


Trainers can give leaders access to professionally developed crisis messages and templates that can be adapted to suit an organization's specific intent and sentiment.


From there, trainers can conduct mock interviews to help leaders become familiar with the flow of reporters' questions and to learn how to think on their feet. When leaders can anticipate the direction in which interviews may go, they can better prepare to have crucial information on hand and stay on message throughout the conversation.



3. Media training teaches leaders to be confident during a crucial interview.


This includes teaching business and government leaders how to stay in control of:


● Their voice and diction (on and off camera)


Leaders must speak clearly, with proper pronunciation and pitch, so that anyone listening will be sure to receive the correct message with no misinterpretations or cause for confusion.

Whether a leader is speaking live in front of an audience, appearing in a streaming video, or recording a message to be played on the radio, speaking at an easy and relaxed pace ensures that your message reaches the ears that must hear it.



● Their body language and on-camera appearance


Audiences can easily pick up on a speaker's body language; this can positively or negatively affect the delivery of a message. Media trainers can guide leaders in the proper way to dress during a given crisis situation and how to stand or move in front of a camera. During training sessions, media experts can teach ways to work with studio lighting, camera angles, posture, and more to improve a person's presence.



● Their nerves


Delivering a statement in front of a camera and fielding questions from several interviewers can put significant pressure on any public speaker. This can be an incredibly stressful experience if the subject being discussed is controversial or if less-than-favorable news is being delivered.


Media training prepares leaders to stick to their train of thought while engaging with reporters. CEOs and decision-makers can stay mindful of the story they mean to tell, avoid certain expressions that could be deemed inappropriate, and focus on delivering the right message.



Shaping the Right Narrative in a Crisis


Practicing how to frame core messages gives speakers confidence during high-pressure times of crisis. With media training, leaders can communicate smoothly with stakeholders, the media and the public and achieve their desired results.





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