1. Is the trainer a former journalist?

We believe trainers who are ex-journalists bring invaluable experience to what they teach. We aim to take the fear out of doing interviews, so that means providing people with first-hand insight into what journalists need, what drives them, and how and why they will react in certain circumstances.

2. Is there a choice to have a safe working journalist assist the trainer?

Some media trainers double as the journalist in sessions. Withstanding a "grilling" from a journalist who must then revert to being a trusted coach or trainer is often confusing and confronting for people. Allowing the trainer to remain the "good cop" while the journalist plays the "bad cop" is usually conducive to a better learning environment.

In some sessions it works for the trainer to double as the journalist, but in most cases we recommend that a working journalist (who signs a confidentiality agreement) conduct the interviews or other role plays.

You do have a choice in this and we'll always decide in consultation with you. We have a stable of tried and trusted journalists, covering different areas of experience and different media. This means we can match their qualities to your needs.

Using a journalist enables the trainer to focus on the participants' performance, while the journalist can focus on doing their job realistically. This delineation of duties is consistent with the principles of successful adult learning methods.

3. What's your approach to training?

The Media Skills™ philosophy is to take the fear out of what some people see as a mysterious and uncontrollable situation. We equip people with skills that will give them the confidence to hold their own with journalists.

Our unique, proven methodology allows people to quickly improve their skills and confidence in getting their message across through the media and which will deliver consistent training across your organisation.

Our approach features:

  • Easy to apply, logical formulas;
  • Up-to-date examples of good and poor technique;
  • Realistic role plays with real journalists;
  • Demanding but constructive feedback;
  • Prepared interview scenarios, saving precious face-to-face time during workshops;
  • Dedicated research and preparation so we understand all the issues relevant to you;
  • Pre-training registration forms for each participant, so all needs are met.

4. Does the training offer participants structure and technique?

Some media trainers will entertain participants with stories about their time behind the microphone or in front of it as a spokesperson. Such insight is valuable, which is why our trainers have their own stories to tell. But it is the lessons, steeped in state-of-the-art adult learning principles, we add to this insight that make all the difference.

Media Skills™ methodologies include a planning process to evaluate the effectiveness of your message and your interview; a proven structure for preparing quotable quotes and grabable grabs, and subtle techniques for controlling the direction of the interview.

We understand how adults learn and use a combination of practical techniques within a theoretical framework to engage and transfer skills and knowledge to participants.

5. Does the trainer have adult education credentials?

Media Skills™ trainers are former journalists who have studied the needs of adult learners, which means they'll adapt to your learning style and move at your pace. We work closely with you in developing training sessions/programs but our trainers also know how to adapt the structure to suit the individual dynamics in each workshop.

6. Are you part of a specialist training organisation or a full-service public relations consultancy?

Unlike many other trainers, we don't need to offer public relations services to survive. That means we can work with your in-house or consulting public relations people without conflict.

The Media Training Professionals is a specialist training organisation led by principal Kirstine Murray. It's one of nine licensed and accredited members of the Media Skills Network™. This network grew from one of Australia's most successful media training and advisory companies, formerly known as The Jordan Templeman Group.

The Media Skills™ methodologies have set benchmarks for high quality and professional media training.

The Media Skills™ approach is based on sound adult learning principles and persuasive communication theory, together with solid media experience, that is considered best practice today.

7. What do others say about working with the trainer/training organisation?

Do ask for written or verbal references from others who have worked with the trainer and organisation delivering the workshop.

The Media Training Professionals has grown mainly through word of mouth.

8. Are you a "one-man band"?

Always check on the depth of trainers that can be called upon to meet your needs. Lone operators may have difficulty delivering large-scale media training programs. The other consideration is will a "one-man band" be around for the long haul? The best training results come from regular sessions delivered over a period of time.

Because The Media Training Professionals is a member of the Media Skills™ Network our clients are never dependent on the availability of a single trainer. We can draw on, as required, an established national team of trainers who are fully qualified and accredited in delivering Media Skills™ methodologies.

9. Can you evaluate the effectiveness of the training?

Media training can often be entertaining, with a former journalist reliving war stories or a public relations expert boasting how they've saved many a client from a crisis. However, how do you evaluate the effectiveness of these stories when you or one of your people are in the hot seat?

We know the Media Skills™ methodologies work because:

  • We see the results on television, radio and in print;
  • People tell us it has made a difference to them – one client says it "made me think differently";
  • Clients come back to Media Skills™ training and refer us to new clients

We can design a strategy for evaluating and reviewing our training in consultation with you. We already have in place a number of internal and external evaluation practices, which reflect our commitment to providing the best possible training to participants and clients. These cover evaluation both of our performance as trainers and those of the participants.

10. Do you tailor sessions and workshops to meet the exact needs of participants?

Rather than take a "one size fits all" approach, we choose a trainer, journalist and workshop structure that suits your needs and experience.

We design sessions with your goals in mind. We find out what outcome you want for each participants and then identify the specific techniques they need to achieve that outcome.

That also requires an understanding of their personal objectives, experience and skills, so we ask participants to complete a short pre-training registration form.