England & Wales

Workshop: Techniques for engaging effectively with Local and National Media


This training and development day is an overview of working with the media.

The course will concentrate on developing an understanding of the different types of media, how to answer difficult questions in an interview, how to get your message across and what to do if it goes wrong.

The sessions will be highly interactive and delegates will be encouraged to take advantage of the networking opportunities from the day.

Participants will be asked to answer a pre-session survey explaining their media experience and understanding as well as details of one possible forthcoming announcement they might be involved in and their organisation’s key messages (this is for illustrative purposes only).

Key outcomes:

  • Our bespoke training course is an introduction to the media, designed to provide delegates with an overview of the British press and an understanding of how to work with it.
  • The highly interactive course includes an introduction to the different types of media, a breakdown of journalists’ jargon as well as learning and practising good interview techniques.
  • It will give you the confidence and knowledge to deal with print, online and broadcast journalists’ requests.


0930 – 1000:

  • Welcome, coffee, introductions, ground rules and structure

1000 – 1200 (including a 10-minute break):

  • Your organisation’s purpose and your objective for attending the training course
  • Explaining different types of media: print local and broadcast/ national print and broadcast/ trade/ broadcast/ online)
  • Explaining media jargon and what journalists need
  • Interview ABC – the guide to successful media interviews
  • Exercise 1: The Print Interview
    • Delegates are given 10 minutes to work on key messages before interviewing each other in pairs
    • Feedback, identify any difficulties and provide tips and pointers

1200 – 1245: lunch

1245 – 1400:

  • Exercise 2: Review videos of well-known people/ experts doing interviews
  • How you might deal with an interview that went wrong
  • Delegates take it in turns to do a piece to camera on a forthcoming announcement
  • Playback and feedback

1400 – 1415: Break

1415 – 1530

  • Exercise 3: The Defensive Radio Interview
    • Split into pairs. Rehearse lines and messages for a defensive media interview. Identify three key messages and likely pitfalls. How can you make what you say compelling and memorable? Discuss with each other.
    • This leads to an over the phone interview with an external broadcast journalist.
    • Listen to each interview and review

1530 – 1545: break


  • Learning points
  • Recap key points
  • 2-way feedback

16:30: Finish


Sophie Willett is a PR and communications specialist and has spent many years advising cabinet-level ministers and other senior leaders, including the Rt Hon Matt Hancock, Rt Hon Michael Fallon and the Attorney General. She understands the role of communications in politics and was seconded to the Prime Minister’s press office in spring 2017. In addition to media training, she currently advises charities and private companies on strategy and messaging.

Tom Latchem spent a decade as a national newspaper journalist at the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, People, and News of the World, where he was TV Editor. He moved into broadcast journalism and now hosts shows on the world’s biggest sports radio station, talkSPORT, and its sister station talkSPORT2, as well as advising companies and public personalities on media strategy.

Who should attend?

This is a very interactive session and is aimed at both senior management, officers and elected members who will engage with the media .