Talking to a journalist should never be left to chance.

Most senior people in business today will come into contact with the media at some point in their careers, either by accident or design.

Whether delivering financial results, launching new products or services, challenging accepted thinking, handling a sensitive issue or defending a position during a crisis, talking to a journalist should never be left to chance.

The media can present enormous opportunities and challenges in equal measure.

Organisations need to make the most of positive stories and respond to crisis situations quickly, coherently and consistently, ensuring their point-of-view is heard and understood.

An ill-conceived comment or off-the-cuff remark can have disastrous consequences – for careers and companies alike.

Well planned and carefully considered comment, on the other hand, delivered with conviction, passion and humanity by confident and well trained spokespeople will mean your organisation is remembered for all the right reasons.

Spokespeople today will experience a wide range of interview situations, from face-to-face and telephone interviews with the print media to studio, location and straight-to-camera interviews on TV. In a crisis, they may well receive an unexpected calls from journalists or be ambushed by reporters. They may also need to address the media scrum or hold a press conference.

Each type of media encounter has different dynamics requiring specific skills, techniques and tactics. They should all be planned for. And they should all be experienced by spokespeople in a supportive training environment before being asked to undertake them for real.  

Good spokespeople are trained, not born and have the power to enhance your reputation. Poor spokespeople present a risk no organisation can afford to take.