S4 E2: Media Relations and Media Training with David Wills of Media Profile

PRGN Presents: News & Views from the Public Relations Global Network

Jan 25 2024 • 19 mins

This episode provides valuable insights into the world of media relations and offers practical tips for successfully engaging with the media.

David Wills, senior vice president at Media Profile, discusses the evolving landscape of media relations and the challenges faced by public relations professionals in breaking through the clutter. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the news cycle and connecting clients' stories to current trends and topics of interest.

David also highlights the value of building and nurturing relationships with reporters and editors, as well as the need for effective media training to ensure spokespersons can deliver their messages in a concise and impactful manner. "Media training is important because if you don't get it right, you often don't get a second chance."

Key Takeaways

  • The media landscape has changed significantly in recent years, with fewer reporters and editors expected to produce more content. This makes media relations skills more valuable than ever in order to break through the clutter and get clients' stories covered.
  • Building and nurturing relationships with reporters and editors is crucial for success in media relations. Understanding what they cover, their interests, and their preferred communication methods helps establish trust and increases the likelihood of media coverage.
  • Media training is essential for spokespersons to effectively deliver their messages to the media. Training sessions should include simulations of interviews to prepare spokespersons for challenging questions and help them stay focused on the key messages.
  • C-suite spokespersons should be trained to speak at a higher level, focusing on the mission, vision, and benefits of their organization. Details and tactics can be provided by PR professionals or in background materials.
  • The skills learned in media training are transferable to other communication channels, such as presentations and meetings. The ability to deliver messages concisely and engage the audience is valuable in various professional settings.

About the Guest

David Wills is Senior Vice President at Media Profile, Canada’s largest full-service, independent PR agency. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Media Profile has a 30-year track record of providing the highest standard of communications planning and execution to leading Canadian and international companies, the public sector and not-for-profit organizations. They are a full-service agency with thriving practices in public relations, corporate and brand communications, content marketing, social media and digital marketing.

David is an experienced media trainer who has helped countless politicians, executives, spokespeople and community leaders improve their success with media interviews. With Media Profile for more than 25 years, David provides the firm's clients with counsel on earned media strategies.

About the Host

Abbie Fink is president of HMA Public Relations in Phoenix, Arizona and a founding member of PRGN. Her marketing communications background includes skills in media relations, digital communications, social media strategies, special event management, crisis communications, community relations, issues management, and marketing promotions for both the private and public sectors, including such industries as healthcare, financial services, professional services, government affairs and tribal affairs, as well as not-for-profit organizations.

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