We work with our clients on media training. It doesn’t mean that we put words in their mouths or that we help them to “spin” a story. It means that we help our clients understand how the media works, what a journalist needs to get from an interview and how to be effective and relevant during the interview process. At AHA, we take pride in working with clients that are ethical, that have integrity, and that care about their stakeholders and the work that they do. In our opinion, media training is about making the most of an interview opportunity – to share facts, to inform, to open a conversation. If the questions are tough or difficult, it is crucial to answer them with transparency and authenticity, and to provide valuable information that shows what is being done about the situation.
I have seen tough interviews from both sides – media and client – and it is one of the areas that we talk a great deal about at our Vancouver PR agency. An interview with a journalist can be of huge value in sharing information, in talking about your organization and – if an issue or crisis has happened – in providing background, the reason why it happened, and explaining what is happening now to your stakeholders and the public at large. (Just a note of caution here. If you are dealing with an issue or a crisis, as important as the media is, it isn’t the only avenue you should be taking to communicate with stakeholders and the public.)