You are the head of communications in a multinational company.
You have a call from a TV newsroom.
They want you to put up an expert to talk about an issue in which your company has expertise.
It’s a great opportunity to showcase your company, increase your credibility and build your reputation. You don’t want to pass it up.
But your expert in that particular field has never done an interview before.
He’s very nervous – particularly about appearing on television.
You try to calm his nerves. You talk him through what will happen. You work with him to develop his key messages. You prepare some of the questions that might come up.
But he is still reluctant.
Sometimes, nothing you can do will reassure him. He needs to hear it from the horses’ mouth. From someone who has been there, done that and got the T-shirt.
Someone who has worked in a newsroom, who has conducted hundreds of these interviews, who knows how journalists think and how they might approach an interview with an expert (which, generally, is not aiming to catch them out, just to extract information).
That’s when to call in some outside help (from us, of course).
As well as our regular media training and crisis communications courses, we are often called in at short notice to run through a quick rehearsal with someone about to do an interview.
It need only take an hour or so. It probably will just involve one of our team coming to your offices (or even the pub late at night, as we have been known to do) with a radio recorder (though we are happy to come with a full TV kit if you wish)
We will go through the technicalities and logistics of what they should expect, talk through the issue or topic and discuss the key messages.
Then we’ll conduct some mock interviews, play them back and talk them through, working out which answers worked and which ones didn’t and helping to improve them and develop the key messages.
After such a rehearsal, your reluctant spokesman will feel more confident and more prepared, and when they do the interview, they’ll give a good performance, delivering the company’s key messages and helping to improve your credibility, your reputation and your brand.
Of course, this demonstrates the value of developing a team of experts who are media training and ready to seize every opportunity for an interview. If you’d like help with that, or with an interview rehearsal, just call us on 020 8332 6200 or email on email@example.com.