A conundrum many corporate clients start with is "How to find the best media training". Like all professional services there are the good, the bad and the cowboys and Media Training is no exception.
There are hundreds of former journalists out there all purporting to be Media Training experts but a decent CV and a mate with a camera isn’t enough.
And as Media Training is the very cornerstone of any PR campaign you do not want to trust your brand and your reputation to any old hack.
So...to answer "How to find the best media training" I've put together 5 top tips to make things a little less stressful:
Best Media Training Tip 1: Pedigree
First look at the trainers. Any decent Media Training company should have a very strong in-house team at its core.
Look carefully at the CVs of the media training team. Ideally they should cover a whole range of journalistic skills from
- TV news
- On-line experience
- Local, regional and network experience
Beware of time servers who’ve done 25 years for one organisation only. They don’t have the breadth of experience required. And people who’ve only worked for local or regional news outlets also don’t have the weight and expertise to advise and train for national newspaper or network broadcast news. All journalists want to cover the biggest stories and while nearly everyone starts in local journalism, the best always get to national newspaper or network news at some stage.
Is it a proper company or a one-man band? One man bands who cobble together ad hoc freelancers simply can’t have long term relationships with clients. A few ways to quickly find the best media training company is by asking:
- Has it got accreditations such as Achilles, ISO 9001 for Quality Management Systems
- Are its courses recognised for CPD awards
- Does it have Public Liability Insurance
All these are signs that you are dealing with a professional organisation which has proved it is offering a professional service.
Best Media Training Tip 2: Look at Their Client List
If the client list is a string of local and regional businesses, local authorities or local organisations like hospitals then the quality of media training is likely only to suit people making local appearances in print and on local radio. This is fine to an extent but the very best media training companies will not only be able to advise and coach for these appearances but be able to raise your performance so that it really stands out simply because they have advised clients on the very biggest stories with some of the very toughest interviews. It’s easy to scale back experience, it’s not possible to step up. So, top class journalists who have a track record in Media Training to some of the UKs biggest and best known brands – they’re the team you’re after.
Best Media Training Tip 3: Bespoke Courses
Beware of off the shelf courses or courses with delegates from a range of organisations. No two courses should be the same. If you've found the best Media Training company they will tailor your sessions so that they precisely meet your needs. No group of delegates has the same level of media performing ability and it wont be very effective if you're training for something specific:
- You might be training for a specific TV interview
- It may be for the proactive launch of a new product or service
- It may be Crisis Media Training when something has gone wrong
If you're not going for a one-to-one session Media Training days should nearly always feature more than one trainer. This means that while one delegate is away being interviewed the second trainer can be offering further help and advice to remaining delegates. This improves the quality of the training day and also prevents delegates reaching for their mobiles and downloading work emails!
Best Media Training Tip 4: Facilities
The best media training companies usually have their own training facilities, a bespoke training centre where media training regular takes place offering radio and TV studios so that role play interviews look and feel just like the real thing.
The best companies can also recreate the print, radio and television experience at their clients’ premises if that makes it easier for the client. This involves quite a bit of kit and should involve at least one specialist technical operator. Jack of all trades media trainers where one person does both the training and the technical side of the day are not as effective as you can’t concentrate on being a trainer and a tech op at the same time.
So, check that your Media Training company has all the right facilities, modern, broadcast standard cameras, microphones and lights and that they are all PAT tested. If the Media Training company is coming to you they should also provide a full RAMS service (Risk Assessment and Method Statement) as they will be bringing quite a bit of equipment into your premises. And they should carry at least £5,000,000 in Public Liability insurance.
Best Media Training Tip 5: History
Every business has to start somewhere so it is fair to say that a brand new company may well be a very good new company. However, if your preferred Media Training company has a long history of training then that’s likely to be because they’re good. And don’t be afraid to ask for referees and testimonials. All good media training companies would be only too pleased to offer you a contact at a satisfied client.
I hope you found these tips on how to find the best media training agency helpful. For more information on our services or if you want us to answer our own questions we'd be only too pleased to do so. Contact one of the team on 0115 955 3989 or 0203 770 7549