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Media training is hot. With the success of public relations-driven companies like Starbucks and growing awareness that PR is a potent marketing tool, many companies are using media training to strengthen their communication capabilities.

Media training can be a complex, expensive undertaking. But with a little planning, it can make your organization's message clearer and more compelling.

What Is It?

Media training is the process of equipping staff to interact effectively with journalists and present your organization in the best possible light.

For frontline employees, it means learning the basics—media inquiries are promptly and politely referred to the corporate communications department, and company gossip is not shared with the (seemingly) nice woman from the newspaper.

For corporate communications staff, media training ensures that different offices use the same techniques and information to handle journalists' inquiries. It can also involve simulations, where executives manage a rapidly unfolding crisis, often with incomplete information.

For senior managers who will represent the company, it centers on polishing their media-handling skills, usually with videotaped interview simulations and detailed appraisals. Training often supports an important event, like an acquisition or product launch.

Media Considerations

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Chris Dillon (chris@dilloncommunications.com) is the principal of Hong Kong-based Dillon Communications Ltd.