I’m one of those strange people who like to go to media relations training sessions. I think there’s a non-zero chance I’ll be interviewed one day and I want to be ready to not make a fool of myself.
I’ve always thought that calculus was logical, and I’ve always encouraged others with a similar expectation (non-zero chance of standing in front of the media) to do the same. My rationale was always, it’s better to practice it now than to have to learn how to do it in front of a camera. But that hasn’t always pushed people to action, unfortunately.
Furthermore, it’s usually not the folks that I talk to that are the problem. They, for the most part, understand the need to do media training. They’re muckety-mucks and realize that they have a non-zero chance, too. No, the real problem is their front-line employees. Regular Joe’s and Joette’s that are, more often than not, the face of an organization. Call takers, service people, front desk staff, salespeople.
You might not know it, but they’ve got a non-zero chance of being in front of a camera, too. You see, they’re the ones that talk to the media before you do. They’re the ones that let the media in the door, the ones that act as gatekeepers. And, I know you’ll be surprised by this, but sometimes the media just sticks their camera in people’s faces and hits record. And it’s just as likely to happen to your front-line employees as it is to you.
From now, though, I have a new tactic. I’m just going to show the following video and say, “are you sure no one in your organization will react to a camera like this?”