There was a time when organisations and government departments regularly called press conferences to publicise their latest initiative and journalists regularly attended. Most newsrooms are now so tightly resourced that news editors are reluctant to allow reporters and camera crews to spend a morning at any event unless a story is more or less guaranteed.
For most journalists a news conference is only worth attending if it will provide interviews and up to date information for a major moving news story. Usually, for the interviewees themselves, that means a crisis.
It is very challenging to face a horde of journalists who all want to throw their own questions. It’s often a moment when reporters feel the need to show off to each other (and to their editors who may be watching the event live in the newsroom). When the reporters are all vying with each other to pose the sharpest question, the interviewee in the hot seat needs to be thoroughly prepared.
We will advise you when it is wise to hold a press conference and when you should choose to do individual interviews instead. We’ll also talk you through the advantages of the ‘pool’ interview at a time of crisis. This allows you to talk to one press reporter and one broadcaster who is obliged to share their interview with their competitors.
As our clients will vouch, the main focus of all our media training is on messaging. We will help you to work out what exactly you want to say and how you should say it. We will also help you define the things you cannot talk about and show you how to avoid being forced into a corner on areas you are unable to discuss.
I found the day extremely helpful. It made me realise how important proper preparation is and how easy it is to get thrown by difficult questions. I know I need a lot more practice and experience, but am sure that you have given me the tools I need.
Senior Church leader