November Program Recap – Media Training with Joel Staley

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The FPRA Capital Chapter’s well-attended November program featured Joel Staley, founder of JCS Communications and a seasoned public relations professional with more than 25 years in the industry, discussing media training best practices and essential elements, as well as many other specific techniques to ensure successful media interviews. Key takeaways include:

  • A media interview is not a conversation. Media interviews do not and should not reflect the way you would normally speak. Instead, they should include carefully crafted responses that will communicate your message in a way that creates compelling headlines or soundbites.
  • Media training gives you an advantage over competitors. Media training helps spokespersons communicate effectively and gives them the opportunity to present their company as an industry leader. This not only strengthens public perception of the company, but gives you a competitive advantage in your field.
  • Seize chances to tell your story. Your mindset going into a media interview should be to communicate your desired message with every opportunity. When in doubt, ask these questions: Is this a chance to tell my story? Am I prepared to do it?
  • It’s all about being prepared. Preparation is essential to a successful media interview, whether it’s for print, TV, or radio. It can look like writing a statement ahead of an interview for a print outlet, so you can reference that throughout; understanding how to segue or bridge to your primary message when the reporter gets off topic; and knowing how to reformulate unfair questions into something you actually want to answer. Staley emphasized the importance of preparation when he said, “Stress comes from being hurried and not being prepared.”