How Media Training Can Spare You From Costly Communications Mistakes
Updated: Sep 17
Everyone at one time or another has experienced stress after public speaking, wondering if they did a good job in getting their points across and keeping the audience interested. When it comes to verbal communication, listeners notice more than just words. Tone of voice and body language also play an important role. Likewise, people sometimes find themselves wondering if that important email they just sent would be effective. Your ability to formulate a clear, concise and compelling narrative can make or break your written communications.
Why is it important to distinguish the characteristics of effective verbal and written communications? Because it helps you to refine your communication style for optimal results. Alternatively, poor communication can lead to miscommunication which can be detrimental to your efforts and your business.
THE COST OF POOR COMMUNICATIONS
Poor communications is costly for businesses. A report by SHRM noted that large-scale companies faced an average loss of $62.4 million per year because of inadequate communication to and between employees. For small-scale companies, they faced an average loss of $420,000 per year as a result of miscommunication.
It is important to remember that the true cost of poor communications is significant. Financial losses are just one of the many a company may face. Forbes noted that a drop in employee morale and loss of credibility are some of the other consequences of poor communications. Another would be reputation, which is one of the most valuable assets a company can have.
A study by the World Economic Forum cited that more than 25 per cent of businesses attributed reputation as being linked to their company’s market value. To further emphasize the importance of reputation, another study by Deloitte found that reputation problems have the biggest impact on revenue and brand value. Companies that experienced a negative reputation event cited revenue loss and loss of brand value as their most impacted areas.
COMMON COMMUNICATIONS MISTAKES
Poor communications and miscommunication can sometimes lead to a crisis for a company, which is when crisis communication strategies are deployed to protect its reputation. For many companies, the focus is often on preventing miscommunication. However, when a crisis occurs it often comes out of the blue. This forces a company into communications mode as a means of addressing the issue with stakeholders to minimize fallout.
No one is immune from a crisis according to PwC’s Global Crisis Survey, which found that 95 per cent of large companies surveyed expect to be hit with a crisis in the future. With this in mind, it is important for companies to be aware of the common mistakes and pitfalls in addressing crises. Just one misstep can be detrimental when the stakes are high. Below are a couple of key examples.
Lack of Awareness
When a company has to communicate through a cirisis, a common error is displaying tone-deafness to the situation at hand. Failing to do this can be catastrophic, which was evident with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill involving BP. Tony Hayward, the former CEO of BP, was condemned for his apology statement regarding the incident after stating that he would like to have his life back. It sounded insensitive given the magnitude of the issue and the destructive impact it had on others. Hayward essentially positioned himself as the victim demonstrating a complete lack of awareness and empathy for the actual victims of the ordeal. Soon after, Hayward quit his position under immense pressure for tarnishing the reputation of BP.
Insincerity in Messages
It is crucial for companies to communicate in a way that is genuine and sincere, especially if they are at the cusp of controversy. United Express, a division of United Airlines, faced heavy scrutiny for its Flight 3411 Incident. A viral video captured the airline’s violent approach in removing a man they selected to vacate the plane. Following the incident, CEO Oscar Munoz released an apathetic apology that justified the airline’s actions. The backlash was severe for United Airlines, where consumer reports indicated that customers would avoid using the airline in the future. In addition, the stock price of United Airlines noticeably decreased after the incident. Munoz would later release another apology for initially justifying the airline’s actions and vowed to never let it happen again.
These are just two of countless examples demonstrating that flawed communications can negatively impact the bottom line of any business - no matter how big or small.
MEDIA TRAINING TO ENHANCE YOUR COMMUNICATIONS
Given how unpredictable crisis situations are, learning how to be an effective communicator as a means of encouraging the best possible outcomes is a worthwhile investment. Media training is what sets apart a star communicator from one who makes mistakes and causes financial losses. Effective leaders who really know how to control a situation through their communications have received media training. From the examples above, it is evident that poor communications is not only costly for a company’s finances, but also for its reputation. Bulletproof’s media training is derived from years of proven experience in strategic communications and public relations. Media training can provide you with the skills and tools you will need to change perceptions, persuade and get stakeholders on board with your ideas. Media training isn’t just about learning how to answer questions. Bulletproof works out an appropriate response to any situation and develops clear, concise and impactful communications that can be deployed through interviews, presentations, meetings, emails, newsletters and social media posts. The training uses modern, proprietary techniques that makes it much easier for anyone to familiarize with the narrative and sound like an effective CEO.
What exactly can media training do to enhance your communications? Consider some of the points below.
Protecting your stakeholders. Media training will help you navigate the challenge of interacting with key stakeholders through sensitive situations. Stakeholders can be fickle, which is why it is important to have a firm grasp on effective, strategic communications in advance of a crisis. PwC reported that companies who were able to respond well during a crisis experienced a 25 per cent premium in share value. Advance planning is the key to success here.
Preparing for the uncertain. Since it is difficult to anticipate a crisis, risk management strategies are one way companies prepare, according to a report by Deloitte. Media training that includes corporate communications strategy includes running a variety of potential likely scenarios and working out appropriate solutions. Bulletproof’s bilingual team of strategists and trainers work with blue chip clients every day on preparedness programs and can help any organization get ready for the inevitable.
The right words at the right time. With media training, business leaders learn how to use communications strategies to protect their company’s reputation. But in addition, experts in strategy and media training can also help individuals recognize opportunities to improve their corporate positioning. When the wrong choice of words can snowball into a crisis, media and presentation training can teach you how to make the most of presentations simply by framing the concepts in a way that support desired outcomes.
Bulletproof is a communications agency that provides media training services, presentation training, and effective communications strategies to help individuals and organizations achieve their objectives. The 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 is well known and highly regarded in the industry, with over 20 years of experience in building reputations of blue-chip clients with award-winning PR programs. She is an expert in strategic communications, public relations, and media training. The Bulletproof team of veteran strategists and trainers offer individual and group training sessions for all levels, helping clients achieve objectives.
Bulletproof, offers free consultations and appointments can be made by filling out the form on the website.