Why media training is vital in an always-on world

In an age where everyone you meet is a potential publisher, anyone can amplify a message — for better or worse. Media training can help executives maximize their reach.

In an age where everyone you meet is a potential publisher, anyone can amplify a message — for better or worse. Media training can help executives maximize their reach.

We live in an age where communication never stops. Today’s modern consumer is bombarded by a deluge of information from his or her various social channels, news aggregators, messaging apps, emails, and more throughout the day. One of the great enablements brought about by the age of the internet (if you hadn’t heard, internet is now spelled with a lowercase i) is the democratization of information – everyone’s point of view can be now aired publicly, compared to the days of yore where the media was pretty much the only way of communicating and influencing the masses.

This democratization has given rise to citizen journalism, blogging, and the rise of influencers. The ease of access to publishing tools (especially blogs and YouTube) makes anyone able to be his or her own newscaster and build up a following.

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A changing media landscape

Today, everyone can publish, everyone can air their opinion, and the power of social networks allows those opinions (validated or otherwise) to spread. A rare few rise to the top of the internet hall of fame, while most end up somewhere in the long tail. That said, anything happening in the long tail can sometimes spread all the way to the front pages of the internet (thank you, Reddit) depending on the public reaction to it.

Here’s the point: In an age where everyone you meet is a potential publisher, anyone can amplify (for better or worse) what you say in a casual conversation. In that sense, every interaction — whether online or offline — is a chance for someone to say something about you, your brand, and the company for which you work.

In the past, executives needed to be extremely well-prepared when meeting with media; it was (and still is!) a golden opportunity to maximize the reach of a corporate message. Today, anyone can help amplify your message in a positive way. On the flipside, we have seen many examples how a public faux pas can totally destroy an executive’s career, and sometimes also impact the company that employs him or her.

 

Why you need media training

The principles of media training will help any executive who has to interact with external stakeholders, whether they are customers, channel partners, lobbyists, or analysts. Executives need to be aware that “off the record” no longer exists in today’s always-on world (especially on social media), so the importance of being ‘on point’ and ‘on message’ becomes even more crucial.

That said, don’t see this new age of communication as a negative. Every interaction, when properly harnessed, is an opportunity to maximize the reach of one’s message.

For a few tips on how to interact with media, be sure to read our article “Media Training with Harry Belafonte.”

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