Media in today’s world is instant. Digital distribution channels demand advance preparation and immediate reaction to breaking stories. In addition, the media landscape has fragmented, and a new cottage industry in investigative journalism has emerged. Some of these new outlets are committed to accuracy and integrity, while others are more focused on sensationalism. Knowing the difference in advance, and being prepared to respond accordingly, is crucial.
CCA’s approach to this new reality is different from that of traditional media “trainers.” We understand that spin and gimmicks – which are the foundation of these traditional approaches – damage reputations. We focus instead on honest, clear, and direct answers, delivered by key team members from within your own organization.
In CCA media labs, we work with your team – before the media calls – to equip you with tools and skills you can use to maintain credibility and get your message heard in this challenging environment. We work with your team on issues management, formulating a communication strategy, and developing solid responses for a broad spectrum of issues.
A seasoned CCA consultant begins by spending two days on site, digging into your toughest issues, what makes these issues tough to defend, and the emerging media environment in which your people would be questioned, including traditional, online, and social channels.
This in-depth research by our team helps ensure that hidden issues won’t pop up in the future to bite you, because they will have been addressed first in our lab. In addition, lab participants almost instantly engage in the learning process once they realize we know their issues as well or better than they do, and they appreciate our ability to use this knowledge to hold their feet to the fire during the lab. Our understanding of the issues also helps make certain that CCA’s strategic counsel and coaching are on target and meet your goals.
CCA then conducts a multi-day, issue-oriented media skills lab. While these labs are tailored to every client’s unique needs, they typically consist of 80% on-camera work and coaching, with the remaining 20% devoted to learning new concepts.
Highlights of the labs include:
- Development of core skills for media
- Creation of one-page CCA issue cards for each media issue
- Preparation of proactive public positions that match corporate strategy
- Practice for “getting to the high ground” through balanced control of interviews
- Extensive question-and-answer coaching by experienced professionals, pushing them in the safety of the lab environment
- On-camera electronic and print media interviews, news briefings, and media backgrounders
We have used our “live ammo” training approach – based on real issues drawn from client research – to coach Nobel Laureates, CEOs, COOs, CFOs, scientists, engineers, and managers to shine in hundreds of national and international media opportunities, whether planned or impromptu.