Media success stories
MEDIA SKILLS FOR HIGH PROFILE ISSUES
The Situation: The stakes are high when you are asked to participate in high-profile news media interviews. This is why leaders must have the best media training or media coaching available to be fully prepared. The president of an industry association based in Washington, DC, contacted us because he was seeking to greatly improve his news media and spokesperson skills. He represents his industry on high profile news shows and is often pitted against an activist lawyer opposed to his industry’s positions and operations. He had heard about our expertise in communication, human behavior, nonverbal communication and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP is the study of behavior and language patterns. In addition, three major industry groups recommended us to him, and after interviewing several groups across the USA, he chose to work with Benchmark.
The Results: During two days of intense media coaching, we helped this leader greatly increase what we call his Likability Factor. His Credibility Factor was not the issue; he knows his industry and is well versed on key issues. But, he needed strategies to be more likable and approachable. He discovered how his beliefs drove his verbal and nonverbal cues and choices, and made the necessary shifts. He gained new strategies to be more comfortable and approachable under the pressure of live TV news. He also learned the difference between boxing and aligning, and how to improve his messages to be more appealing to the media and public. He walked away much higher comfort level and proven strategies to succeed with the national news media.
MEDIA COACHING & PRIME TIME NEWS
The Situation: When CNN, PBS, Fox News Network or another high profile news media outlet calls, your leaders need the right media coaching and media skills to be prepared. An executive with a Fortune 500 group accepted an invitation to appear on a well-known news talk show, and his PR group asked us to provide executive media coaching to help him be more comfortable and engaging. He was going to share airtime with the CEO of a competitor; we knew the competitor’s leader was naturally more engaging and extroverted than our client.
The Results: We mapped out a game plan to help our client be much more comfortable and prepared. We developed media talking points that fit his personality, were media friendly and met his organization’s goals. He learned how to relax, stay on message, deliver effective sound bites, use visual language and much more. In the end, the talk show host found our client to be very engaging. He earned much more of the allotted airtime than his company’s competitor – simply because he was much more approachable, prepared, media savvy and interesting!
NETWORK MEDIA INTERVIEW SKILLS
The Situation: Executive media coaching is a must when the news media request an interview for high-profile topics. The right media skills can make the difference between success or failure. Fox News Network invited a Fortune 100 Company to appear on one of its shows, because the FTC had ruled against the company on a key issue. The company did not agree with the ruling, and wanted to use this media opportunity to influence public perceptions. The company asked us to help them assess the issue, develop messaging and prepare their spokesperson, so they could effectively tell their story on Fox News.
The Results: We collaborated with their PR group to achieve their goals. We analyzed the issue from various stakeholder perspectives and then developed key media messages, as well as Q&A strategies. We coached their spokesperson to help him be more comfortable and prepared for a range of possible interview scenarios. His appearance on Fox News exceeded their expectations. He came across as comfortable, credible and approachable. He had great rapport with the news anchor and their PR team felt they surpassed their organization’s goals.
TESTING CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLANS
The Situation: Crisis management planning is essential to succeeding in a crisis - the right crisis team, crisis plans, crisis drills, media training and crisis consulting team can make all the difference. A chemical group experienced several newsworthy events within a short period of time. The third event resulted in the “shelter in place” of more than 42,000 residents. The community was shut down and many businesses were also affected. The plant site is located near a major waterway and busy roadways. We had worked with this client for a long time to improve their crisis preparedness, which included updated crisis plans, crisis drills, improved media kits, stakeholder relation programs, media outreach, community initiatives and much more.
The Results: The organization responded quickly to ensure the safety of everyone. Many news organizations covered this event and also provided coverage to national news outlets. Benchmark’s teams helped the company use its crisis plans to work with the media and address stakeholder issues and needs. Thanks to solid community relationships, local officials were very supportive and spoke favorably about the chemical company and its crisis response to keep everyone safe. The media coverage was short lived and the organization was able to resume normal operations.