Essential Media Relations

This practical training course covers media relations skills to get news covered positively. You will learn how to engage with journalists and navigate your media landscape. Topics include how to manage news dynamics, pitch stories and build media relationships.  

This course is available both live online and face-to-face.

  • Face to face (London) | One day | £675 +VAT
  • Face to face (Dubai) | One day | Media One Hotel | $795 +VAT
  • Live online (Zoom) | Two half-days | 10:00-14:00 London time | $795

Also available on request in US / Asia timezones.

This course runs in English. It is also available on request in Arabic.

Course outline

Mapping your media landscape

This module explores the full range of forms of news media, and how to engage effectively with different media.

  • The power and value of the media: reach, impact and credibility
  • Mapping media by medium (broadcast, print, newswires etc.)
  • Mapping media by scope (horizontal, vertical, geographic etc.)
  • Mapping media by category (consumer, trade, relationship etc.)
  • Practicalities and specific best practice for working with TV, newspapers, magazines, trade press, radio, newswires and Web-based news media

Understanding and working with journalists

This module covers how to understand and work with journalists to influence and shape coverage.

  • What journalists need from us: influencing the story by providing the right ingredients
  • Thinking like a journalist – how they work and what they want
  • Five essential rules of engagement
  • Building trust and relationships
  • Managing press contacts and lists

Building news judgement to maximise coverage

This module covers news judgement: understanding how journalists decide what makes news.

  • How to present information so that journalists consider it newsworthy
  • Different types of news – hard news, soft news, human interest news, feature news etc.
  • Finding and showcasing the news value in your story
  • Front-page focus: optimising news value to get your story covered more prominently

Pitching your stories to engage the media

This module covers how to sell-in stories to journalists by creating and executing effective pitches.

  • Golden rules of story pitching: selling in stories effectively to journalists
  • Creating effective pitches that engage journalists and drive positive coverage
  • Pitch timing: navigating news cycles and deadlines
  • Pitch targeting: pitching the right publication or media outlet for your story
  • Pitching channels: different types of pitch (phone, email, face to face etc.)
  • Practice your pitching skills in role-play exercises with real journalists
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Meet your trainers

Following are some of the ISOC trainers who regularly lead this course, depending whether you join us in London, Dubai or live online. 

Trainer profile: Sarah Cocker

Sarah is a dynamic communicator with over 20 years’ experience in media, finance and business. Her international experience in banking, and as one of CNBC’s key anchors, makes her at ease dealing with leaders and experts from industry, government and academia. A skilled listener and coach, Sarah enjoys working with clients to help them define and achieve their objectives. Her coaching experience includes training blue-chip executives in public speaking and techniques for challenging television interviews. Her international career has given her an understanding of the cultural and working practices in the Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North and South America.

Trainer profile: Adam Kirtley

Adam is a veteran presenter and reporter with more than 30 years' experience as a BBC journalist. He presents on BBC local and national and radio, including  Five Live business show Wake Up to Money and Radio Four's flagship consumer show You and Yours. He still reports for the BBC World Service, where he began his career. Adam has interviewed numerous bankers, finance ministers and CEOs during his BBC career, and for the last 15 years has used that experience to train executives in media interviews, crisis communication, public speaking, presentation skills and messaging. He is also an accomplished conference facilitator and workshop leader. Adam has worked across Europe, the Middle East, North America and Africa for organisations of all sizes, from multinational finance and pharmaceutical companies to governments and NGOs.

Trainer profile: Felice Hawley

Felice is a versatile editor, writer and broadcaster with in-depth experience of economic and business news. During a 16-year career at CNN, she helped create and then produce the award-winning live business programme “World Business Today”. Moving to text, Felice became Managing Editor of Hoover’s Online Europe, responsible for a team of journalists. She later went on to launch several websites, intranets, extranets and microsites. She writes, edits and manages content for organisations including Transport for London and the NHS. Felice consulted on web and print materials ahead of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

What you will learn

After this course you will be able to:

  • Understand how the media are organised, and how journalists think and work
  • Feel empowered and inspired to represent your organisation’s interests effectively in day to day interactions with the news media.
  • Develop an instinct for the kind of ideas that will generate news effectively
  • Know how and when to approach journalists with news, and feel confident engaging with them
  • Return to work able to generate greater news value for your stories, and secure more positive and prominent coverage for them.

Who should attend?

This is a universal course designed for learners in a wide range of roles and levels. Learning is pitched at a core level, designed to help you analyse core concepts and execute universal skills. This course is recommended for anyone who wants to generate more media positive and effective coverage for their organisation.