Traditional face-to-face media training is not always practical or cost-effective. Live online media training can work just as well. We’ve been coaching spokespeople by videoconference since 2010. Here’s how it works.

First of all, we use small-group webinars, not one-way lectures, so you can interact with your trainer and your group and get individual coaching.

The outline and content follow the same proven methodology as you would get in an ISOC studio. You will hear best practice from the same briefings and discussions. You will learn from real-life examples in topical video clips.

Online interviews and coaching

After the theory, we will guide you through a structured interview preparation process based on customised interview scenarios designed to be realistic for you.

Then you will role-play a short simulated interview which we will record and replay immediately, all within the videoconferencing system. Your trainer will pause for feedback — always positive, practical and constructive. This coaching is the key to performance improvement.

For the rest of the session you will role-play a series of interviews — in the same scenario, or different — to perfect your learning points through repetition. Depending on the setup, we may set up breakout rooms with different journalists so that you can practice different interview styles.

After the interview you can download copies of your interviews including the coaching soundtrack. You’ll get the latest version of the ISOC Media Training Manual, and a set of tip sheets and reminder cards.

We will also write up an individual performance and recommendations report. If you are booking media training for your team, we will also provide a management recommendations report with guidance on which spokespeople are ready for which types and levels of interview.

Benefits

Live online media training has several advantages. It gives access to the worldwide pool of ISOC accredited trainers including all major languages. Working online is also a good option for tight budgets because it eliminates travel, hotel and venue costs. It is useful for training widely distributed teams who would not otherwise come together. It is ideal when preparing for specific remote formats such as online news conferences, down-the-line interviews, webcasts and webinars.

Live online or face to face?

Live online media training is not always preferable. Face-to-face training can be direct, intense and engaging in a way that sometimes gets better learning outcomes. Working with real cameras, lights and microphones helps spokespeople become relaxed and comfortable in broadcast interviews. In-person coaching is usually more appropriate for senior executives and VIPS.

Next steps

Contact your local ISOC centre for details.