Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Media Training by Jonathan Bernstein
Posted by litekepr on June 11, 2010
It seems that every time we turn on the news, there is a new scandal. It may be a celebrity marriage on the rocks, a fading star in trouble again with the law, a politician being accused of breaking the law or international companies dealing with a catastrophic disaster – all these people have one thing in common. They need to handle the crisis and that means handling the media. What better resource to understand the process than a crisis management expert.
Who hasn’t had an interview that they feel like they messed something up? Even when the interview is about good news or positive things, it is still possible and likely that something won’t go “right”. So, imagine the possibility of saying something wrong if it is bad news or a crisis.
I really like how this book goes through every step and its easy to understand. That does not mean is overly simplified – but you can go into this book with limited know how and understand how media and interviews work.
We have all seen people that are very skilled with the media and who give awesome interviews. Let’ be serious – most people aren’t like that naturally, but YOU can learn how to handle the media and how to give a great interview, even in a crisis.
Bernstein takes you into the mind of the media – it is beneficial to you to understand the person and the mentality they bring to an interview. I love that he moves into talking about how important attitude is – and keep that in mind as you learn about the conundrums of media relations. Before you start an interview – check out page 25 and go through the pre-interview relaxation exercises. I know that any time I have an interview, I’m a nervous wreck for a little while – but as soon as I can relax, the interview goes fine. This was something I have had to do whether I’m interviewing someone or if I am being interviewed.
The Three C’s of Crisis Communication: Compassion, Competence and Confidence. He gives us the awesome example of Rudy Giuliani on and after 9-11. Who doesn’t remember his composure, how he communicated with the people and the media, we saw his compassion and his passion about the situation and finally, we saw his quiet confidence in this unimaginable disaster. Who of us could handle that situation with those same qualities?
We dig into how to talk with saying a word. We reveal so much by the way we stand, how we hold our arms, our eyes and expressions and so much more. Look over this section and I would recommend practicing in a mirror. Once you have your presentation down pat – review the section about delivering your message.
If you aren’t already convinced that you need to read this book – you only need to peak at pages 34 to 37, where you will get the 15 Keys to Media Interviews. This section should be made into crib notes to take with you to an interview.
When you are in a crisis – honestly, you need to be prepared for tough questions. That makes the “Guidelines for Confrontational Interviews” and “Question Turnaround” sections critical. How many times have you gotten a question and you cannot think of any way to make your answer sound positive? This section helps you learn how to turn any question to your advantage. This is only the beginning, these are the headings for each chapter in Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Media Training:
- A New Way of Thinking About Media Relations
- Understand the Media
- Getting Ready to be Interviewed
- Media Tactics – Dancing the Dance
- Media Logistics
- Practice Makes… Better
- Special Circumstances
You will also learn details about radio, print and television interviews – this book gives details about all elements of how to handle the media in an interview and especially in a crisis situation. Also, think about how a normal interview can turn into a crisis if you don’t handle the interview right? In the age of YouTube, how many people have said something they regretted in an interview, only to find out that it’s the latest hit on YouTube. Do yourself and your business a huge favor, invest in positive media relationships – by buying this book today. Jonathan Bernstein is the owner of Bernstein Crisis Management and he proves in the pages of this book, why he is the man to call when you have a crisis. In the mean time, read this book and prepare yourself on how to deal with media interviews and keep Jonathan’s number in your rolodex when things hit crisis mode. Now it is time for me to go back and read the book again – there is far too much information to absorb all the suggestion and details the first time you read this book.