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Media Training After COVID: Face-to-Face or Virtual?

By Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications

It was exhilarating! For the first time after more than a year’s worth of COVID lockdown, we were about to facilitate an in-person media training for a client. My colleague and I were fully vaccinated. The trainees and their observers were fully vaccinated. We were ready to rock.

Despite a few awkward moments – Do we wear masks while we conduct mock interviews? Should trainees? – the enthusiasm in the room was palpable. Everyone jumped into the session, worked full-throttle on messaging for the crisis scenarios we presented and gave it their all on-camera, deftly fielding our thorny, hard-nosed line of questioning.

What about your organization? If you’ve budgeted for media training, we’re ready to help you – whether that’s in person or with a virtual training session using Zoom.

Either option gets your spokespeople fully prepped to handle the most aggressive reporters hounding you during a breaking crisis or writing stories about a challenging issue your company faces.

We adapted our media training curriculum for the pandemic and have facilitated dozens of Zoom-based sessions during COVID. For virtual training, we’ve replaced the in-person, on-camera component of our curriculum with detailed, constructive feedback we provide immediately after each mock interview.

What remains constant is our emphasis on interview control techniques, the importance of messaging, and our focus on pivoting back to key messages. And participants learn that the skills they walk away with have applications beyond media interviews – they apply to ANY Q&A situation – such as a presentation to clients, pitch to prospects or speech to community groups.

At Hennes Communications, we’ve media trained everyone from the front desk to the factory floor to the corner CEO office. We’re not like other agencies – we have years of serious, on-the-ground experience running deadline-driven newsrooms in major media markets.

If you train with us, you’ll be ready for anything. Even the toughest investigative reporter determined to pick you apart. Call us at Hennes Communications – 216-321-7774 – to find out how to get started and let’s get media training on your calendar today.

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