Vice President Dick Cheney's now-infamous hunting expedition and subsequent fallout has brought the importance of media training spokespeople to the forefront of the PR profession. His communications teams' laundry list of faux pas - including a late release of the story and inappropriate jokes during press conferences - offers a prime example of what not to do in a crisis situation. And while publicity of that magnitude may be the exception rather than the rule, it's a stark reminder of media training's essential role in any executive portfolio.
Andy Gilman (president and CEO of CommCore Consulting Group), Tom Hanley (director, public relations for Connecticut Children's Medical Center) and Robert Elek (manager, media relations for Verizon) discussed the ins and outs of media training in the PR News Webinar "Media Training Your Key Executives (And Yourself)" on February 16. The first line of defense when an executive is in front of a camera or notebook, according to Gilman: "It's not just about training executives to answer questions. It's about preparedness. They have to be able to think like a journalist."
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