When I search Twitter for the term “media training,” I frequently come across a tweet that suggests a celebrity or politician who said something controversial “needs media training.”
That’s true in some cases, but people often reflexively want to send everyone who’s ever uttered a controversial or provocative comment to media training.
Media training isn’t about preventing people from ever expressing an unpopular or controversial view.
I occasionally work with someone who has a deep-seated belief about a controversial topic. We discuss the likely consequences of expressing that belief in the manner the person would like.
Sometimes the person will modify his approach to make the point in a less alienating way, but ultimately, once he understands the potential consequences, it’s his choice whether to proceed.
It’s important that spokespeople understand the potential consequences of saying something unpopular.
From a strategic perspective, expressing an unpopular thought isn’t always wrong. It can differentiate someone from his more traditional peers.