You step out of the car and flashbulbs blind you. Microphones are shoved
in your face and reporters from all sides ask different questions. You begin
to sweat. It's all too much. How on earth are you going to concentrate and
come up with some intelligent answers?
A media trainer is just the person to help you cope. Media trainers help
all kinds of people learn how to deal with the media. They teach people to
become comfortable in front of TV cameras, on radio and in print interviews.
Media trainers help politicians get their message across to the public.
They also train owners of private companies, public officials and celebrities.
Media trainers often help people get used to the media by giving interactive
seminars. This often means putting clients in a simulated environment.
"We put them on camera so they can see how they look," says TJ Walker,
a media trainer in New York. They can also be put through a mock interview
session to help form coherent answers to questions.
Media trainers also teach people about the operation of the media, deadlines
and the different media, such as TV, print or the Internet. "You need to understand
how the media works in order to get your message across," says Frances Horner,
a media trainer.
Media trainers conduct private sessions and seminars. To do this, they
must be organized and good at public speaking.
Just about anybody who wants help learning about the media, its role and
how to best perform on TV, radio or in the newspaper can hire a media trainer.
Some media trainers operate their own businesses. Others may work as a
part of a public relations company. "I would describe media training as one
of the elements of public relations," says Horner. "As a part of our public
relations business, we teach people how to work with the media."
Media trainers who work for themselves can set their own hours. "The hours
are much better for me," says Mark Bernheimer, a former TV journalist who
now runs his own media training company. "We were on the road constantly,
and the hours were never constant."
Media training doesn't require any special physical abilities. "There is
no reason a physically challenged person couldn't do this work," says Horner.
There may be times when some special considerations must be made, such
as hosting events in different locations. "For the most part, it would be
no problem. We spend most of our time on the phone and on the computer."