Media success stories
MEDIA SKILLS TRAINING 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 and 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 interview results 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 media training, communication skills, human behavior, nonverbal communication and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). In addition, three major industry groups recommended us to him, and after interviewing several groups across the USA, he chose Benchmark for his media training and executive coaching.
The Results: During two days of intense media training, we helped this leader greatly increase what we call his Likability Factor. He was very credible; he knows his industry and is well versed on key issues. But, he needed media training that would provide strategies to be more likable and approachable. He discovered how his beliefs drove his verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and made the necessary shifts. He gained new media training strategies to be more comfortable and approachable despite the pressure of live TV news interviews. He also learned how to improve his media messages to be more appealing to improve stakeholder relations and perceptions. He walked away much higher comfort level and proven media training strategies to succeed with the national news media.
MEDIA COACHING & PRIME TIME NEWS
The Situation: When the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, PBS, Fox News Network or another high profile news media outlet calls, your leaders need the right media training and news media skills to be fully prepared. Studies show that key business schools now consider media skills to be the benchmark by which today's leaders are judged. 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 improve his news media interviewing skills. They wanted the executive to be more comfortable and engaging during the news interview to take advantage of this corporate branding opportunity. Plus, 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 an executive media training game plan to help our client be much more comfortable and prepared. We developed news media talking points that fit his personality, were media friendly and met his organization’s media relations and stakeholder relations goals. The executive 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. The executive earned much more of the allotted airtime than his company’s competitor – simply because he was much more approachable, prepared, media savvy and interesting! His organization now turns to Benchmark Communications for their media training and executive media coaching needs.
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. Studies show you can build stakeholder trust with positive news media coverage; an organization can get out key branding messages and greatly improve stakeholder relations. 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 and stakeholder perceptions. The company asked us to help them assess the issue, develop media messages and prepare their spokesperson with media training, so they could effectively tell their story on Fox News.
The Results: We collaborated with their PR group to achieve their media training 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 on camera and prepared for a range of possible news media 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. The company felt they influenced stakeholder perceptions and overcame the negative press they had received prior to the interview.
TESTING CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLANS
The Situation: Crisis management planning is essential to a successful crisis response. The right reputation management strategies, crisis communications strategies, crisis team, crisis plans, crisis drills, media skills 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 impacted. 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 updating crisis plans, crisis drills, media crisis training for spokespersons, crisis training for the frontline, improved media kits, stakeholder relations programs, media outreach, community relations training and much more.
The Results: The organization responded quickly to ensure the safety of everyone. Many news organizations covered this crisis event and also provided coverage to national news outlets. Benchmark’s reputation management teams helped the company use its crisis plans to effectively work with the news 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 news media coverage was short lived and the organization was able to resume normal operations. Company leaders were pleased with the results and invested in additional reputation management strategies and crisis response training to improve their capabilities.