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Media Training: Become a Storyteller

  January 21, 2023

Media training will bring out the storyteller in you.  I have worked with many clients over the years who are experts in their fields, but when it came time to share their news with the media they were at a loss.  So, they got media trained. That process begins with learning to be a good storyteller. 

  • Identify what is unique about you and your business.  There is something unique about every business person and/or her business.  Maybe it's the origin of the business.  Perhaps it's a family affair.  It could be something that's brand new to your marketplace.  Or, a new way of doing business.
  • Tell your story to people outside your industry.  If you hope to do general media interviews, outsiders need to understand what you're talking about.
  • Do not use industry jargon.
  • Do not be afraid to reuse stories from interview to interview.
  • If your story is a complex one, learn to simplify it--especially for broadcast interviews.
  • Get input from your staff.  Their unique experiences may dovetail nicely into your company's story.  
  • Don't fabricate any part of your story.  This is a no-brainer.  Eventually someone will call you on it.
  • Make sure your story is relatable for your audience.  This is important in live speaking engagements and in media appearances.  
  • You never want to talk down to your audience; neither do you want to speak over their heads.  Find a happy medium.  Watch doctors who do regular segments on broadcast or cable news as an example of what I mean.  The best communicators can take a complex topic and explain it in a way that the audience gets.  

Media training gives you a safe space to work on your story.  And it's not just one story.  You need to be able to speak conversationally about your background, your services, products or causes, and how and why the audience should care.  

Consider why you want to do media interviews in the first place.  It can help shape your storytelling.  What's your motivation?

  • You don't have a big budget for advertising and earned media hits are a great way to gain exposure.  Just remember, a media interview is not an advertisement; you need to provide real value to your audience.  Over time, you should gain name recognition and trust.  
  • You have a desire to help your community or a charitable cause. Sharing your knowledge through the media can be rewarding.  You are giving your time and expertise.
  • Your company is in the middle of a crisis and media interest has piqued. You could choose to ignore the noise and hope it goes away.  Or, you can try to get ahead of the story before it explodes on social media or traditional media.  You'll want to make sure your side of the story is told.  What you don't want to do is be defensive during an aggressive interview.  It takes practice to stay on your messaging.  Media training can help.

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