An entrepreneur getting invited to a media interview is like a baseball player stepping up to the plate with the game-winning run on third. It’s a fantastic opportunity to boost your notoriety and build trust with fans, but it requires you to push through the pressure to get a hit. Strike out, and you’ll wish you had stayed in the dugout, far away from the cameras.

Media training gives entrepreneurs the skills they need to take advantage of interview opportunities because it improves their batting average, allowing them to convert every interview into a brand-boosting hit to the outfield. With that in mind, media training is something every entrepreneur should prioritize.

The Skills Media Training Provides

Becoming a solid communicator is the first step toward optimizing the effectiveness of media interviews. The best opportunities—those that spotlight your expertise in a far-reaching news setting—will expect you to be brief and engaging. Knowing how to deliver complex ideas in clear and concise ways is essential. The best way to practice these skills is through media training. 

Storytelling skills are also very valuable for maximizing your effectiveness. Presenting the technical aspects of a product or the theoretical effects of a service isn’t nearly as engaging as a story about how a product or service is changing lives for the better. Learning to craft a narrative that captures a viewer’s imagination through media training will help you become a stand-out and sought-after interviewee.

Active listening is another skill entrepreneurs will need to succeed in media interviews. News sources seek experts who can answer their questions and add value to their reporting. Active listening empowers you to notice all the nuances of the interviewer’s questions and provide a response that helps viewers while also promoting your expertise.

Capitalizing on media opportunities also requires entrepreneurs to become media and business savvy. Understanding what works best for different media formats and audiences will build your confidence and strengthen your ability to seize opportunities.

A news interview, for example, will be fast-paced and may include questions about breaking information. To be prepared, an entrepreneur must become familiar with the story’s course and the latest developments. Participating in a podcast requires different skills. The format allows for longer responses and more time to think but may involve engaging with fellow participants and the host, which can require an even broader range of understanding of the topic.

The Payoff Entrepreneurs Can Expect

Strengthening your media skills requires an investment. It’s like adding a communications minor to your business major. Only through media training, coaching, and practice will you be able to develop the skills you need to make the most of opportunities.

If that sounds too much to add to your already busy schedule, consider the returns you can expect when you invest, starting with increased brand awareness. Media interviews boost brand awareness in a way marketing can’t achieve.

Anyone can pay for advertising on social media, which is why social channels are awash with ads. However, those ads often detract from your brand image rather than improve it because potential customers view them as an irrelevant and annoying intrusion.

Appearing in a media interview is a different ball game. The interview presents you as the expert the news calls upon to address the important issues consumers face. Rather than showing up as an interruption in a media feed, your brand appears as a just-in-time solution to a pressing question. The news outlet interviewing you provides a third-party endorsement of your expertise, value, and trustworthiness.

Media Training Helps to Set You Apart

Media interviews also set you apart from your competition by presenting you as a top thought leader in your field. It is exposure that boosts both brand awareness and credibility. Entrepreneurs who are prepared when opportunities arise take advantage of an opportunity to catapult themselves into a leading role in their industry.

Media opportunities are also opportunities to become a likable and relatable leader in your field. They put a face on your company, allowing consumers to connect with a personality and a product. If you show up well-prepared for media opportunities, you show the market your brand is driven by confident and competent leadership.

Being properly prepared for media opportunities also empowers you to be authentic, which is more important than ever in today’s business landscape. Recent research in the retail sector shows that 62 percent of consumers are ready to shop exclusively with brands they perceive as authentic. And 75 percent of US shoppers say they are ready to spend more on those brands.

Showing up for a media interview nervous, anxious, or ill-prepared does not allow you to be authentic. By putting in the reps and achieving a level of media mastery, you position yourself to present yourself and your brand in an authentic way that will connect with consumers. As a result, you can expect increased sales and improved brand loyalty.

Media training will help lower your stress level when media opportunities arise. Entrepreneurs carry a heavy load. A recent survey shows that 54 percent of entrepreneurs are “very stressed” about their businesses, which results in 37 percent suffering from anxiety and 10 percent having panic attacks.

Boost Awareness and New Business Opportunities 

Interviews don’t need to add stress to your efforts. By getting the media training you need, they can become something you look forward to with confidence rather than anxiety.

Entrepreneurs should also not overlook the potential for media interviews to connect them with new investors. Presenting a strong product with growth potential is one key to attracting investor interest. Exhibiting strong leadership is another. Media interviews allow you to present yourself to investors as a business leader who is insightful, confident, and ready to provide solutions.

Media interviews are a powerful way to boost brand awareness and connect with new business opportunities, but they require that an entrepreneur show up confidently and clearly. Media training empowers entrepreneurs to convert media opportunities into media success. Investing in training gives you a competitive edge that can quickly translate to better business success.

Ryan Bass

Ryan Bass is the media director at Otter PR. He's currently an in-game reporter and host on Bally Sports Sun for the Tampa Bay Rays and Major League Baseball and also reports on a variety of topics as a national correspondent for NewsNation TV. He's been a broadcast journalist for the last 15 years, spending time at WTSP-TV CBS Tampa and CBS Sports.

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