Facing the hack: a very unfair fight
Where do journalists get off being so lofty and supercilious? I…
By Michael Johnson on the September 17th, 2014
Yet, it’s the biggest give-away that you’ve been media trained, and often irritating for the journalist. First, many interviewers don’t know what their first question will be until they start speaking, and it’s annoying to have to commit to an exact question in advance. Secondly, it’s a rather aggressive thing to say. Thirdly, you might tempt the journalist into being more negative in a kind of “right, so you think you know it all do you?” way.
A much better, less aggressive request is: “How were you thinking of starting?” That way you get the information you need to help you start the interview well, without upsetting anyone.
Do journalists care if you’ve been media trained? They certainly care, and rightly so, if you’ve been “trained” not to answer the question, or “trained” to treat an interview like an advertisement (advertising opportunity).
But good media training is about helping you communicate naturally, with enthusiasm and colour. It’s about ensuring you meet your business objective, while still enabling the journalist to get a good story. It’s about teaching you always to address the question you’ve been asked, even if it’s something you dread.
Good media training is, therefore, something that most journalists welcome.
February 27th, 2012