Media training is important for the spokesperson of any company. The spokesperson should always be trained before going out and speaking in front of the media, be it during a launch or a crisis. Out of all, crisis communication by a spokesperson should always be right which requires good media training. The key to successful media training for crisis is preparation and practice. A well-managed crisis response, communicated properly, can not only preserve the image and credibility of an organisation but can also enhance it.
During a crisis, all the people of the top management, operational managers and professional communicators should be trained for media. Each of them should be capable of communicating the message with media by being calm and confident to keep it in control.
People with experience should train the spokesperson for crisis communication as not all agencies/consultancies are experienced in media training. People with experience in different sector crises can be good. A person with one specialised sector has got high chances of working with the competitors which can lead to clashes.
The spokesperson should learn how to interact and communicate with media, how to maintain and build a trustworthy relationship, deliver a clear, concise and credible message, present information without appearing misinformed, maintain the control both internally and externally, handle unfair or unexpected questions.
The training of the spokesperson should include who the press is and who they are going to interact with, what are their publishing house deadlines (daily/weekly/monthly).
Developing a crisis message is really important and the mantra to it is:
During a crisis, one cannot expect the journalist to ask the right to questions that allow getting the correct message across. For that, one needs to create the opportunity for them to deliver it by knowing what they want to say. To convince the journalists, clear, credible, simple, with appropriate context and right content should be delivered. The easiest way to keep track is by preparing a brief holding statement that can also be used by others.
The general rules to follow during crisis communication are the message should be well prepared and rehearsed with correct and accurate data, not misleading, avoid jargon and sound friendly even in a difficult situation. If the spokesperson is not aware of a certain thing then they shouldn’t be afraid to say they don’t know and will get back to it. The trainer should also prepare the spokesperson with the scenarios that might happen during the conversation with the media.
Honesty and accuracy help during crisis communication.