I’ve got a bunch of clients who want media training so they can be ‘go-to’ talent for the media. They want to learn to speak well, calm their nerves, answer the questions seamlessly, sound intelligent and use the media to help raise their profile. Great.
But, on the other hand, I have a bunch of clients who hope they never have to use what they’re learning.
We’re the insurance policy. The “holy smokes I’m glad she told me that 6 months ago because now I’m in the headlights and they’re coming right for me” kind of insurance policy.
Heading the crisis off at the pass, can be more than just what you say when the cameraman calls out ‘recording’ (although that’s super important, obviously). It can also be about all the communication that has led up to that moment, and all the communication that will follow.
It can be about internal conversations and knowing when to speak and when to lay low. It can be about communicating with staff, especially the front-line ones (loose lips sink ships). It can be about communicating with customers or your community. Trust me, when they’re no longer outraged…the story will disappear. It can be about communicating with the media and avoiding an “Us v You” type interview.
What you do the minute the crisis reaches your desk, will pave the next few days. It’s kind of like one of those pick-a-path books. Ever read one and thought, oh no – I wish I’d picked the path where she doesn’t miss school to hang out with the troubled teen …the story on that path ends so much better?
If your media or communication training isn’t backed up with ‘what the hell do I do in a crisis?’ type training… then maybe assess your risk more closely (smart clients include it in their formal risk assessment plans).
You never know when you might find yourself wishing you took out the insurance policy.