Maximizing media training's value, ways to ensure more international press, and moreMedia training
Are there ways to make media training both fun and realistic for the participants?
To be fun and realistic, media training can't follow a one-size-fits-all approach, says Oliver Schmidt of C4CS. "Instead, its format and content must be tailored to the participants' needs," he adds.
Whether it's a one-on-one executive-coaching situation or group media training, the individual skill level has to be assessed up front so the session can be customized to be challenging, but not too advanced.
"The goal must be to create a supportive training environment that provides constructive feedback and builds confidence along with competency," Schmidt says. "Participants should be embracing the fact that media interviews are valuable opportunities to get targeted messages across, and they should have the confidence and skill to make the most of such opportunities."
To achieve this goal, the training should cover both message development and message delivery techniques. "It should also include plenty of on-camera time and individual critique, as well as real-life interview excerpts illustrating good and bad interview performances," Schmidt says.
"In the end, it is important to remember that repeated training and ongoing practice are the keys to media interview success," he adds. "With the right professional help, media training can be both a fun learning experience and a crucial skills-building tool."
What are some tips for optimizing a press release?
Press release optimization requires both skillful copywriting and customized back-end web- page development, says Trish Bear of I-ology.
Two important factors are keywords and release length.
"Identify target keywords that your prospects will use to search for you and include them in your headline, subhead, and opening paragraphs," she says. "Keep your release length between 300-400 words and include your keywords and phrases a maximum of three times."
Another point to keep in mind, Bear adds, is self-promotion. "Always post your release on its own page within your website's press room and make sure it is linked to within the site's architecture," she notes. Having the release online and linked from your site will get it picked up by Yahoo, Google, and others.
Bear says it is also important to issue your release using a news distribution service "The major newswires have distribution arrangements that feed releases into Google News, Yahoo News, and many other search engines' news areas," she says.
What types of news stories get international coverage?
You must be aware of the types of stories and the news packaging that are appealing beyond the US, says Toby Low of Medialink International in London.
"European and Asian broadcasters welcome loosely-edited b-roll," he says. "But watch out for the level of branding. If you overdo it on the pictures and in the press release, you don't stand a chance."
However, you can succeed if you have a story with a news peg. "Tech stories work well, as long as there is some sort of 'wow' factor," Low adds. "Celebrities also work well, but remember that we may never have heard of the people you see as celebrities."
If your target is Asia, stories should have regional relevance. "SMTs can work for financial stories or if you have a real name in front of the camera, but make sure to plan for different time zones and languages," he says.
What can we do to help our broadcast provider plan a successful RMT?
The key to success with any RMT is proper planning and execution, says Maury Tobin of Tobin Communications.
"Provide as much lead time as possible before your tour date," he says. "Typically, it takes about one to two weeks to pitch and schedule radio interviews for an RMT." There are exceptions, of course, but the one- to two-week lead time is a good rule of thumb.
Provide the company with a press release, fact sheet, and your spokesperson's up-to-date biography before it begins pitching. "Think of ways that may motivate listeners to reach out and learn more, such as providing a website address, a giveaway, or a toll-free number, " he says.