February 2022
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TD Magazine

Prepared to Be On the Record

Monday, January 31, 2022

Media training programs have benefits for senior leaders and subject matter experts.

Is media training part of your learning ecosystem? If so, is it only available to executives? In an era where on-camera opportunities have exponentially increased, talent development professionals and communications professionals may consider teaming to expand the reach of any media training programs.


Such programs offer numerous benefits, which Beck Bamberger, founder of the public relations firm BAM, details in the article "5 Responses for ‘I Don't Need To Do Media Training.'" They range from helping spokespersons deliver messages without using distracting jargon to equipping them with strategies on how to communicate succinctly. Those skills are also transferable to other aspects of leadership, such as speaking at employee meetings or leading presentations for external stakeholders.

Still, Bamberger says many companies and executives believe they don't need media training. He says he has heard it all from "But I did media training a year ago" to "But I'm already well-spoken and comfortable speaking."

"Media training, like most skills, is only refined with practice," Bamberger explains. Accordingly, only those who take part in media interviews weekly have a valid reason to excuse themselves from regular media training opportunities.


In an interview with PR News, Sarah Brown, corporate media relations director at Marriott International, said objections to participating in media training can often be attributed to an individual's lack of confidence. But media training programs can elevate participants' confidence. "A media trainer should focus on building the confidence of spokespersons while teaching them building-block skills that help them make the most of every media opportunity," Brown advised.

Moreover, she said there's an organizational benefit in extending media training opportunities beyond senior leaders. "While, of course, it is critical for your C-suite to be media trained, it's incredibly beneficial to the entire organization to develop a deep bench of strong spokespersons," Brown noted. "While C-suite executives are best suited for more general, over-arching company topic areas, developing subject-matter-expert spokespersons allows your organization even more opportunities to be media-relevant."

About the Author

Derrick Thompson is a former writer/editor for ATD.

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