20 Reasons You Should Not Get Media Training
If you do a web search, you’ll come across many articles telling you why you should get media training. But I’ve never seen a post telling people why they shouldn’t.
In this post, I’ll fill a much-needed gap by offering 20 reasons why you, your clients, or your colleagues should definitely not pursue media training.
- Your parents always said you were perfect and you don’t want anyone to contradict them.
- When given the choice between delivering a memorable message or one that’s destined to disappear into the ether, you respond by saying, “Tell me more about the ether.”
- You like the adrenaline rush of an anchor cutting off your answers because you take too long to make a point.
- You’re a thrill-seeker hell-bent on seeing how much damage you can inflict on your company in a single interview.
- You’re terrified of heights so prefer a lengthy “encyclopedia pitch” to a tight elevator pitch.
- You’re a generous person and like offering reporters dozens of potential quotes to choose from instead of a carefully curated few.
- You’re an action person who wants to get straight to the interview rather than getting bogged down by “strategy.”
- You’re convinced that media skills are innate and that no training could improve your effectiveness.
- You love hearing yourself talk at length, even if your audiences do not.
- You’re content being a “do no harmer” who avoids making a humiliating mistake but fails to take full advantage of the opportunity.
- You prefer remaining unaware of easily corrected shortcomings in your communications technique.
- You’re secretly hoping to earn the nickname “loose cannon.”
- You’ve always admired improv artists and value the excitement of blurting out whatever comes to mind in the moment.
- You want to practice doing cleanup after a disastrous media interview.
- You prefer to make your mistakes to an audience of thousands rather than in front of a couple of colleagues and a trainer.
- You like being oblivious to how your body language influences people’s perception of you.
- You view the “deer in headlights” expression people get after being asked an unexpected question as an endearing form of authenticity.
- You’re amused by interviewees who look at the wrong place during live interviews and want to emulate their style.
- You want your interview to go viral on YouTube.
- You’d rather not end up on a reporter’s “go-to source list” and have them speak to your well-trained competitors instead.
Your post was obviously meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but the fact remains that there are some people who should not be media trained. I’ve encountered folks throughout my career who genuinely get flustered when put on the spot or in front of a camera (no matter how well trained), those who say what they shouldn’t to the reporter because they want to be friendly, and those who acknowledge the message and then happily discard it in favor of what they want to say, to name a few. You get to know who these folks are, and realize that they should not under any circumstances be a spokesperson for your company or brand. Not everyone can be trained to speak to the media, unfortunately.
Good to hear from you again — thanks for your comment!
You’re exactly right, of course. I’ve encountered several trainees who are just not equipped to become public faces of their organizations. In general, the one thing that’s very difficult to teach is self-awareness–and if someone doesn’t have much, it’s difficult to coach it in a single session.
BUT…I’d also say those people, in my experience at least, are relatively rare. Even the least self-aware, undisciplined people are usually at least somewhat reachable through the right style of feedback and coaching. I use the term “somewhat” intentionally; you’re not going to fully convert a person who isn’t particularly interested in being helped. But even there, you can work around the edges to help them make small but meaningful changes that can result in an outsize payoff.
I guess what I’m saying is this: I try never to give up on someone, even after common sense says I probably should.
LOL–Well done sir!