The media is always evolving. The term “media” is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of communication outlets to deliver information to the general public. From television to radio, to newspapers and advertising, all of these outlets are generally used in order to inform large audiences about any type of information. Collectively, all of these are part of the mass media, and they play a vital role in the circulation of information that influences the opinion of the public.
In the last two decades, the media landscape has drastically changed. The consumption behaviour of the general public has shifted away from traditional media, to digital media. Initially, print newspapers were a very popular outlet for the public to use in order to stay informed, but the circulation of print newspapers has decreased significantly according to the Pew Research Center. However, this has led to newspapers turning to digital formats, as Canadian newspapers have reported an increase in earnings from online circulations, according to Statistics Canada. Even major outlets like the CBC have reconfigured their news delivery models around digital.
With the decline of traditional media, digital media has grown exponentially, as it is much more accessible in the digital age. According to a 2019 study conducted by Global Web Index, it found that digital consumers spend approximately seven hours online per day. The study also found that social media usage accounts for the largest share in online media consumption, where the average person spends almost two and a half hours on those platforms.
ONLINE MEDIA TRAINING IN 2020
So why is it important to understand the change in media consumption behaviour? It is clear that the media is dynamic, but the public interest and demand for information about events that are happening around the world remains constant. While the audience may no longer be reading print newspapers to stay informed, they have now turned to online outlets to read about various topics that are important to them.
If you are a public figure or a company that is concerned about your public image or reputation, then it is important to consider where your audience may discover you. One of the best ways to gain awareness is to achieve positive news coverage. While there are many different public relations strategies that can be employed in order to do this, a good first step is developing a communications strategy and obtaining media training in order to ensure any interviews you do result in positive news coverage that helps to advance your business objectives. Media training is the process of learning techniques reporters use in interviews and methods you can use to keep your narrative on track. This allows you to better control the outcome and ensure news coverage is positive.
Now is a great time to learn about the best practices for interacting with the media. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, media consumption has surged throughout the world. According to another study by Global Web Index conducted this year, it found that 87% of U.S. consumers say they are consuming more content, which includes broadcast TV, online videos and much more. With this in mind, public figures and companies can take advantage of this by learning how to pitch to the press and gain publicity. Positive PR is considered to be more effective than, and at least three times as valuable as advertising.
THREE MEDIA TRAINING TIPS
Understanding the media is integral to achieving your objectives. However, media training is not something that you can learn immediately. Below are three tips that you need to know about media training.
1) Know Your Interviewer
One of the most important media training lessons you will need to understand is knowing who your interviewer is. In the stage of writing a media pitch, it is crucial to know who you are addressing your message to as this could determine whether your message gets read or discarded. According to a study by Fractl, it found that 57% of top publishers receive between 50 and 500 pitches per week. Getting the attention of the press can be a challenging feat, but conducting your research and knowing who you are addressing your pitch to can be beneficial in standing out.
By knowing your interviewer, this allows you to connect with them further, which may make the interview process much less stressful. Remember, knowing your interviewer is not just about who they are as a person, but understanding their mindset in their profession. In this case, having a thorough understanding of how a journalist thinks can help you anticipate what type of questions they may ask you.
2) Be Strategic
Often, when you are pitching for an opportunity to be featured in the press, you are likely going to interact with a journalist. In this process, it is important to be strategic in your approach. First, in order to get the attention of a journalist, you may want to consider where journalists can be reached to ensure they see your media pitch. According to Muck Rack, 70% of journalists choose Twitter as the most valuable resource to do their job. With this in mind, it may be beneficial to follow journalists on Twitter and reach out to them through that platform to potentially get their attention.
Second, once you have secured an interview with a journalist, the way you answer their questions is crucial in achieving your desired goal. Formulate three to five key messages that summarize the points you're making. The average attention span of humans is only 8.25 seconds, and it is still getting shorter, according to a study cited by the Government of Canada. With this in mind, keep your messages concise and direct, as this will ensure that the journalist you are interacting with will understand your answers without any confusion. Which leads to more accurate reporting.
3) Practice and Rehearse
Just like any interview or presentation, it requires plenty of practice and rehearsing. Remember, 75% of a successful interview is attributed to preparation. Understanding how a journalist thinks and processes information can be a difficult obstacle. This is why it’s important to practice delivering your messages and answering questions strategically to better understand whether your messages are clear and succinct.
Write a list of questions you're afraid of, practice answering them, and try to incorporate your key messages. It is likely a guarantee that you will never get it right the first time, which is why it is important to consider getting media training lessons. While you are practicing, you should also be mindful of unexpected questions that may arise during an interview. When you are answering a question, keep your objective top of mind. Remember, answering a question strategically is important, but it is also how you present yourself through your tone and body language that could make the most impact. Never underestimate the importance of charisma during an interview.
MEDIA TRAINING IN TORONTO
Bulletproof is a Toronto-based communications agency that provides media training services to help individuals and organizations achieve their objectives. Our team consists of strategists, trainers, and journalists who understand the media, and the importance of public relations and communications to obtain desired goals.
Bulletproof media training is led by Tara McCarthy who has over 20 years of experience in building reputations and is an expert in strategic communications and media training. The Bulletproof team of veteran strategists and trainers can teach you or your company the most effective communication techniques that will advance your objectives. Training is available in English and French.
If you or your company needs media training assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Bulletproof. They’re experts at developing communications strategies, honing interviewing skills and much more.