How All Employees Can Benefit From Media Training
What do most prestigious companies have in common? Is it powerful branding? Is it a distinct and popular product or service? While these are certainly obvious factors, many of these companies take pride in another very important component to their business - their people.
A shared characteristic of companies on the Fortune 500 list, is a prominent mission statement. In order for these companies to demonstrate their commitment to their corporate philosophies, their workers have to understand the vision, support and progress it.
There is a good reason that companies are very cautious as to who they allow to represent their organization. Essentially, employees are the “face” of the company. The behaviour and professionalism of employees could determine how stakeholders perceive the company as a whole, which consequently affects the company’s reputation.
For the majority of companies, their worth is tied to their reputation. An article by KPMG, indicates that reputation is the single most valuable asset that a company can have, and often it can be overlooked by managers creating risk for a company.
Time and time again, companies get into controversies due to the behaviour of their employees. These costly communications mistakes made by employees can be damaging to the reputation of a company.
The most recent example would be the U.S. Capitol riot, where supporters of former president Donald Trump breached the building to protest the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s presidential win. In an article by CNN, the news network documented instances where rioters who took part in the event were identified by social media users which in turn led to these individuals being fired by employers.
On social media, users deliberately flagged the employers of accused individuals who took part in the Capitol riots. Many companies were swift to act, by openly condemning the actions of their employees publicly, which led to many of these employees who were called out to be terminated by their respective employers, as reported by US News.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MEDIA TRAINING
As evident from the U.S. Capitol riot example, many employers were quick to respond to the growing backlash that their companies were facing due to their association with an identified rioter. They had to do so in order to protect their reputations. They didn’t want to be associated with such an egregious event. Especially in this political climate, it is integral that employers and people with a sizable platform be vocal about wrongdoings. Silence is no longer an option as the general public can perceive this as being complicit to inexcusable behaviour.
For companies who have a dedicated communications and public relations department, reputation management and damage control are very important aspects that are utilized to protect a company.
However, as surprising as it may seem, not all companies have this expertise in-house. Some don’t anticipate a crisis and are too busy running on their business to worry about it, while others think their company may be too small and not enough resources to have a communications department.
But many companies fail to address the challenge that an employee could trigger a crisis at any moment, simply by making a controversial post on their personal social media channel. A recent example was a woman who was fired from her position at Deloitte for her comments in a social media video attacking people who say “all lives matter.” Deloitte also received a wave of comments on its social media condemning the decision to fire the woman.
Of course, news like this is much more common now, which emphasizes the importance of investing in media training for employees and executives alike. Making sure everyone in the organization has a basic understanding of the risks associated with making public statements either in social or in the press, is a great way to reduce the chance of a crisis.
McKiney & Company stated in an insights report that no company can ever predict when a company crisis can occur, but being prepared can determine the outcome in mitigating a crisis. Issues management using communications strategy and media training is a foolproof resource that can help stop a crisis, or prevent it from getting any worse.
MEDIA TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES
Providing media training is certainly important as it can be used to protect the reputation of a company, but can it do more than that? Apart from obviously benefiting the company, it can be beneficial for employees to gain exposure to media training as it can provide them with important insights. These insights better equip employees to be more strategic and measured in their communication with business partners, customers and internal teams. Enhancing communication expertise helps move the business forward with clarity.
Media training builds confidence for anyone who participates. Being provided with a framework by a media professional can give them a foolproof formula to work with and sets them up for success. The reality is, not everyone in a corporate setting is comfortable when it comes to communicating with others. Whether the communications are internal or external, the confidence boost gained from media training can improve anyone’s presentation style.
For employees who will need to communicate with others, understanding the commonly used media training techniques assists them in improving communications strategy. It could also assist them in being more articulate so they can make interactions more meaningful and impactful.
Understanding that all companies may not have the resources available to have a dedicated communications and public relations department, communications strategy and media training by Bulletproof offers world-class experts who can help any organization improve their communications capabilities and their ability to control the narrative and advance business objectives.
From understanding what content can be shared to an audience, to learning how to present more effectively, Bulletproof can provide employees with media training to improve their skills or to achieve their communications goals.
The important takeaway is that media training is not just available to fulfil the needs of a company executive, it can also provide important lessons for employees who can take one-on-one or group training sessions. The skills learned are valuable in a number of settings beyond media interviews. It’s all about thinking about objectives and planning out what messaging will be most motivating for your audience. From there, the focus becomes delivery and how to add colour and context to make communications more compelling and memorable.
Bulletproof is a communications agency that provides media training services and effective communications strategies 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, public relations, and media training. The Bulletproof team of veteran strategists and trainers can teach you or your corporate teams how to write an informed communications strategy, designed to advance your objectives.
If you or your company need media training assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Bulletproof, where services are available in English and French. Free consultations are available by filling out the contact form.