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  • Sam Schofield

Media interview training: Are you ready for the cameras and microphones?

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

Identifying a spokesperson for your business is not a simple task. There are many reasons a spokesperson might be needed to speak to the press, from positive stories through to the negative. But it needn't always be the boss that stands in front of the cameras and microphones.

While the MD / CEO / Chair might be the most appropriate choice when defending the business against a negative story, they might not be best placed to answer questions about the apprenticeship programme your business offers or your charitable fundraising activities, if these are run by someone else, for example.

Usually the most appropriate person to speak to the press is the one who knows most about the subject being discussed. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is "let me speak to my people and get back to you", which makes the interviewee appear ill-informed or, at worst, uncaring about the subject being discussed. Also avoid the trap of thinking your PR person should be the one to answer journalist questions directly, as rolling out a PR can come across as defensive.

There is more to choosing a spokesperson than simply being the most knowledgeable on the subject, of course. In instances where there are potential legal implications, it is vital the interviewee does not drop the business in deep water by saying something prejudicial, defamatory or damaging in some other way. Where legalities are involved, your company lawyer might be the most appropriate spokesperson.

When it comes to positive news stories, you not only want the most knowledgeable member of staff speaking to the press, but ideally they need to be able to speak clearly, succinctly, entertainingly if necessary, and confidently. Sometimes this comes naturally but, often, experience being interviewed in front of cameras and microphones is the key.

That is where media training can be extremely useful. The first time you're interviewed for radio, TV, podcast or digital video can be a daunting prospect so having had at least some practice with a trained interviewer in an environment where mistakes can be made without issue can prove invaluable.

Here at Schofield Communications, we use trained journalists to conduct our media training, ensuring our clients are fully prepared for how a press interview will go. We have extensive experience prepping company MDs and CEOs, university Vice Chancellors, councillors and MPs, lobbyists and more. If you're facing a big interview and want to make sure you're as ready as possible, we can help.

As always, for a free consultation and to discuss your needs, please fee free to drop us an email or call 07895 127353.



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