By Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC
Your spokespeople need media training and I’d like to be your media trainer. There. I said it. I’m asking you to please consider me.
Below are three reasons why my training can offer you techniques that other trainers don’t offer. Plus – if you book your training in November and December 2018, I’ll let you add one extra person to the media training class at no extra charge. Many of you have money in your budget that you either have to spend or you will lose it. So act fast to get your training on the calendar now.
To make the case of why you and your spokespeople can achieve greater results from my media training programs, here are three things to consider.
Consideration #1: Mobile Device News Readers
I’ve adjusted my training to coincide with how people read news on their mobile devices. PEW Research says 85% of older adults read their news on a mobile device. Most people will tell you they only read the headline, the first paragraph, and the first quote, before they move onto something else. In other words, their perception about the news story that might involve your organization is derived from the headline, the lead sentence, and the quote. That is one of my primary points of focus, because it is the essence of a reporter’s inverted pyramid writing style.
More then 15 years ago I pioneered the preamble technique. Initially the preamble was developed to add context to a media interview. Because most reporters ask direct questions and most spokespeople try to respond with a direct answer, often the answer is taken out of context because the spokesperson is never taught to add context. A well-worded, profound, overarching sentence, spoken by the spokesperson as a preamble to their first answer provides context.
Consideration #2: Controlling the Edit
As this preamble technique has evolved, an increasing number of reporters are using the preamble to make up the essence of their lead sentence. And if you know anything about the newsroom, you know that the headline is written by a copy-editor who reads the lead. Hence, if your preamble controls the lead, then your preamble also controls the headline. If you control both of these, you control the perception of the mobile device reader and you control the edit of the news story.
Consideration #3: Strong Quotes
A compelling quote compels a good reporter to put the quote in their news report, as well as to use it early in their report. I promise you that I can help your spokespeople land some amazing quotes. Preamble + Quote = Controlling the edit + Controlling the perception.
Time for a change?
Most media trainers are still teaching spokespeople to focus on three bullet points as their key messages, which leads to bad ad-libs. Most trainers are teaching bad techniques such as telling people to only talk about what you want to talk about, combined with bad avoidance techniques, bad pivots, and bad spin. Guess what? The audience is wise to this and rejects it, just as the media are wise to this and reject it.
What might have worked in the past doesn’t work today. Times are changing. Are you changing with the times? Is your media trainer changing with the times?
If you love your media trainer, please stay with them. If it is time to hire your first media trainer or change to a new media trainer, it would be my honor to talk with you. Please phone me at 985-624-9976 or email me at Gerard@BraudCommunications.com
And remember, if you book in November or December of 2018, when you book a class for four spokespeople I will let you add a fifth person at no additional charge.
Thank you for your consideration.
Crisis communications and media training expert Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC is based in New Orleans. Organizations on five continents have relied on him to write their crisis communications plans and to train their spokespeople. He is the author of “Don’t Talk to the Media Until…”
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