More harm than good?The perils of traditional media training
Much more than "on-message"
Contemporary media relations for leaders is much more than simply "staying on-message without making mistakes"
Today's spectators are at the height of their sophistication
Their bullsh*t detectors are finely-tuned. Deftly-composed statements no longer cut it on their own
An increasingly cynical audience, bolstered by the experience of being bombarded with countless media speakers, makes decisions based upon more than just words, assurances and detailed proposals
Merely saying the right thing is no longer enough
How you're perceived inevitably colours, positively or negatively, how your message is perceived and in turn the potential tone of an article or broadcast
We're weary of media-trained trickery
Journalists and audiences can spot it a mile off. Pre-scripted answers delivered without heart and soul cause more harm than good. The PR team might be happy the "right thing" was said. But the audience are left annoyed, feeling cheated they've learnt nothing aside from the speaker's smug ability to sidestep a question or robotically stay on-message
We've all seen it
Skillfully coordinated PR, hard-won brand image and a spokesperson that says the right things can all be struck down in a stroke. Simply because the media and its audience judges the perceived believability and personal impact of the person in charge doesn't match the rest of the message
No matter what you actually say - and of course, its importance remains - the ultimate gut instinct or "feeling" of the audience is frequently the difference between success and failure, support or indifference, action or inaction. In fact, even with a print interview, the tone of an article is often "coloured" by the gut feeling of the journalist
Too much theory and not enough heart
Traditional media training is typically defensive in approach. The focus is on theory rather than performance. There's a feeling the media should be feared rather than embraced. Training sessions are packed full of the likes of "top ten tips", "body language 101", "here's how to sidestep the question". PR boxes are ticked, but does it actually work in terms of your audience's trust, empathy and believability? In many cases, we don't think so
What you can expectAfter coaching with me
Clarity, confidence and competence
A clearly articulated message with interviews delivered in a "conversational style" that just "feels right"
Audiences don't feel cheated
Interviews feel more transparent, more convincing, more in tune with the subject matter
No-one becomes a "spokesperson". The very personality that's got you where you are today is preserved, not diluted. And delivery feels effortless and natural
Meeting in the middle
You'll find it much easier to marry what the journalist wants with what you're trying to achieve, whilst being able to more easily avoid many of the common traps and pitfalls
I won't need to come back
I work quickly and permanently. My coaching is designed so you experience it once and reap the benefits far into the future, being able to apply it to any message you need to deliver
Almost 100% practical, learn-by-doing approach
with no dreary lectures or textbook theories. Interviews are meaningful, relevant and real-life
Building confidence through proof
With recording and playback, you'll immediately see the measurable effects of the coaching on both confidence and competence
I give you what you need, not what you already know
My training style is sufficiently flexible and advanced to ensure I go at your pace, instead of working within a rigid structure. This means your time is maximised for optimal benefit and cost effectiveness
And, if your training is in a group setting
...coaching is still predominantly 1 to 1 meaning I can simultaneously challenge and deliver value to both experienced and inexperienced interviewees alike
You'll receive a professional recording
of all the practical exercises, vividly illustrating your growth throughout the training
You'll also receive an individually-tailored, smartphone-friendly "aide memoire"
highlighting the specific conclusions and key points of the coaching and - clients tell us - a wonderful boost when referred to immediately prior to a media interview
"Advice for life"
My clients - whenever they feel they need it - have access to unlimited informal advice, giving re-assurance, a confidence boost and broad-based guidance prior to any key media interview
Print and online interviews
Face to face interview with a journalist, before being written up into a story
For print and online, forming the basis of an article
Both face-to-face "in studio" and via phone or Skype
Location TV interviews
A pre-recorded interview from which sound-bites are later selected for broadcast within a programme
A media favourite for controversial or fast-moving stories, where flustered comments are often regretted later
Remote "down the line"
The interviewer and interviewee are in separate locations - the interviewee talks straight to camera, instead of a "person"
Remote location interviews
Often held at or outside your place of work, a "down the line" where you're typically talking straight to camera with questions via an earpiece
Live TV interviews
Simulated live studio or location interviews. We have a live multi-camera facility with both our studio and location kit for maximum realism
Live TV interviews 1+2
Simulated studio or location interviews in "discussion style" with two or more guests. Participants typically have opposing viewpoints
Before your interview
What you need to know and how you can turn this information to your advantage
How to prepare
And how to focus in on your message when you're collared "out of the blue"
Discover it's not what you say
But how you say it that often leaves the biggest impression
You'll encounter them all. From the softly-softly to the controversial. Breakfast TV to rolling news. Tabloid to financial media. And all selected from the sort of media scenarios you're likely to face
Banish the nerves for good
Common-sense strategies for ridding yourself of the needless fears that often accompany an interview. And all without the use of the likes of gimmicky breathing exercises and mumbo-jumbo self-talk
From floor manager hand signals to the effective use of studio monitors. The dynamics of a telephone interview to working with an earpiece during a "down the line"
Traps and pitfalls
Common tactics employed by interviewers to catch you off guard. And how to spot them and come out on top
Enhancing media intelligence
Building competence from within so any unprepared-for scenarios can be handled intelligently
Be your own spin doctor
Discover techniques used by the professionals and learn how to apply them to your own media handling
Master the art of the "sound-bite"
And get your point across succinctly, smoothly and powerfully
Stacks of valuable information
From make-up advice to the most flattering way to position yourself on-camera
What to wear
The most effective combinations for on-screen impact
Proven track record
Over 30 years experience
With clients in over 20 different countries and a business built almost exclusively on personal recommendation, I've been coaching since 1991. My work's been featured in numerous TV and documentary features as well as over 40 articles in the UK press alone. My corporate client list includes some of the world's biggest companies and I typically work with clients at the highest levels
Benefit from the company I keep
I learn by doing. My colourful client list, mainly comprised of leaders in their respective fields, be it corporate, media or public life – provides me with continued exposure to a broad range of sectors, attitudes and beliefs. This is reflected in the content of my work, ensuring you're provided with skills and techniques backed up by tried, tested and proven experience