20 excuses to reject media training

If you think you’ll be fine to ‘just wing it’ in front of a reporter, a camera and potentially thousands of viewers, ignore your PR pro’s advice and rely on these reasons instead.

Many articles can tell you why you should get media training, but I’ve never seen a post telling people why they shouldn’t pursue the PR effort.

Here are 20 reasons why you, your clients or your colleagues might reject an offer to prepare for the next media interview or press conference:

1. Your parents always said you were perfect—and you don’t want anyone to contradict them.

2. When given the choice between delivering a memorable message or one that’s destined to disappear into the ether, you respond by saying, “Tell me more about the ether.”

3. You enjoy the adrenaline rush of an anchor cutting off your answers because you didn’t quickly get to the point.

4. You’re a thrill-seeker who wants to see how much damage you can cause your organization in a single interview.

5. You’re terrified of heights, which is why you prefer a lengthy “encyclopedia pitch” to a concise elevator pitch.

6. You’re a generous person who offers reporters dozens of potential quotes instead of a carefully curated few.

7. You want to dive straight to the interview rather than getting bogged down by PR “strategy.”

8. You’re convinced that media skills are innate and that no training could improve your effectiveness.

9. You love hearing yourself talk at length, even if your audiences do not.

10. You’re content to just avoid a humiliating mistake, even though you fail to take full advantage of the opportunity.

11. Remaining unaware of easily corrected communications shortcomings is easier.

12. You’re secretly hoping to earn the nickname “Loose Cannon.”

13. You admire improvisation artists and seek the excitement of blurting out whatever comes to mind in the moment.

14. Practice makes perfect, and you can test your PR clean-up skills after a disastrous media interview.

15. You prefer to make mistakes in front of thousands, rather than a few colleagues and a trainer.

16. You don’t believe your body language influences people’s perception of you.

17. You consider the “deer in headlights” expression, which people make after receiving an unexpected question, to be endearing and authentic.

18. Interviewees who look at the wrong place during live interviews are amusing, and you want to emulate their style.

19. You want your interview to go viral on YouTube.

20. You’d rather not end up on a reporter’s source list; instead, they can speak to your well-trained competitors.

What other arguments would you include to talk someone out of media training?

Brad Phillips is president of Phillips Media Relations, which specializes in media and presentation training. He is author of the Mr. Media Training Blog, (where a version of this article originally appeared) and two books: ” The Media Training Bible” and “101 Ways to Open a Speech.”

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