England & Wales HR, workforce and communications, Personal and organisational development

Workshop: Techniques for engaging with local and national media


This training and development day is an introduction and overview into 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.

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

Participants should answer a pre-session survey explaining their media experience and understanding as well as details of one possible forthcoming proactive announcement they will be involved in.


0930– 1030

Welcome, coffee, introductions, ground rules and structure. We explore the different types of media, media jargon and what journalists need

1045 – 1200:

Interview ABC – the guide to successful media interviews and when to decline

Exercise 1: The proactive print Interview

  • Delegates work on key messages before interviewing each other in pairs
  • Feedback, identify any difficulties and provide tips and pointers

1200 – 1300: lunch

1300- 1530

Exercise 2: Review videos of well-known people/ experts being interviewed on TV and radio, plus print and online stories.

How you might deal with an interview that went wrong, crisis comms and the defensive interview

Exercise 3: We simulate a breaking news story where the situation is unfolding, how to respond and when


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

16:30 Finish


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.


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.