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Training Wheels: The rebirth of communication

Learning the ropes

Media training is one of the most important aspects of professional communication and is especially beneficial in the evolving world of public relations. It instructs individuals in effective communication and the nuances of interacting with media representatives, be it via interviews, press conferences or other media-related events.

By ensuring the spokesperson knows how to position the organisation they are representing, media training assists orators in staying on message while communicating with a target audience. The training also sheds light on dos and don’ts of engaging with the media, including the understanding of body language and the knowledge of the visual cues one must be keep an eye out for,  as well as the guidance in how to avoid answering questions and changing the direction of an interview through conversational bridging techniques.

By successfully going through the motions of media training, an individual must also adapt to the advancements of the ever-changing landscape of social media. This modern medium requires a set of new tools — Facebook live, Instagram stories, video releases — to master in order to meet audience expectations and deliver the same messages.

This dynamic landscape of social media will require more than just a theoretical approach, however. Next, I will shed light on this ever-evolving online medium and reveal the tools that newcomers and veterans alike will have to master.

Mastering the ropes

With the advancements in social media, a new communication landscape has been established that requires new tools to master in order to best reach a target audience.

Not too long ago, media channels were limited to print and broadcast mediums, making the individuals’ interactions with media more streamlined, predictable, and less confusing. With modern technological advancements and with the looming dominance of social media, once considered a form of entertainment that has quickly evolved to the medium of choice for all communication, spokespeople have to update and adapt upon their methods to surpass traditional mediums of print and online.

Individuals now have to equip themselves with new essential tricks that would, among many other things, prepare them in navigating live online broadcasts. Tricks and pointers include the fact that an audience needs to be informed well in advance of the ‘streaming’ schedule in order to create awareness beforehand. Additionally, a compelling description of the stream needs to be written prior to going so that newcomers would be encouraged to watch and engage with you.

Another thing a spokesperson must do is choose the right time to go live; broadcasting to a target audience that is asleep or at work is counter-productive. As should be clear by now, the process of pre-preparation is one of the most crucial elements. Also, if you are going to engage with an audience online, make sure that you are responsive and that you address viewers and commenters by name.

Communication mediums will always change, and the same media training that was once limited to print, TV, and radio, has now expanded to include online mediums. Social media platforms may serve the same purpose as traditional media, but they demand updated methods and tools to fully take advantage of them in order to reach the desired target audiences.

Wajd Breek is Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. An independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai and offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |