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Paddy Hintz, Senior Consultant Media and Communications

From time to time the SAS Group provides media training for our clients. And when we do, it’s always a reminder that these sessions are rarely just about preparing people to speak clearly in front of cameras.

One of the most common obstacles that create problems for people needing to deal with the media is that they don’t often think of what the journalist is looking to get out of the equation.

Many people approach media interviews with a sense of fear, waiting to be tripped up by those “nasty, untrustworthy journalists’’.

And while we can provide you with the skills to avoid just that scenario, the work we do before we get you to speak in front of the microphone helps you to understand how to create better working relationships with journalists to avoid these situations in the first place.

We try to put you metaphorically in the newsroom so you can understand the needs of “the beast’’. The key then is to prepare your messaging about what you want to say in a way that responds to the news cycle without inadvertently becoming the next major bad news headline.

Getting this messaging right is critical. When we work with our clients, we advise that not every media call has to be answered. Think clearly about how you and your organisation will benefit from taking part in an interview and then shape your messaging around that purpose.

Who are you speaking to? Sometimes it will be multiple audiences, such as your customers, the general public and/or government.

If you prepare what you want to say and speak directly to the people at home who are watching a TV news broadcast, for example, you are most of the way there to presenting yourself as a credible and authentic authority on your particular subject.

If you know what you are talking about − and believe in what you are saying and the need to say it − you will be convincing.

If your organisation does offer the chance for media training, bring along a group of people, even if only one person usually acts as a public spokesperson for the organisation. We often find our media training sessions help our participants learn valuable communications skills, such as how to clearly identify audiences and key messaging. These are skills which can be used across a number of platforms, not just in front of journalists.

If you would like to inquire about our media training services, contact the SAS Group today.




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