Media Interview Training: Issues & Crisis Session

The Issues & Crisis Session is one of our advanced media training options and is geared toward companies looking to prepare their spokespeople to effectively handle media relations in times of crisis or volatile circumstances. The session will be customized for the company's specific issues/circumstances and will include numerous examples and case studies of media relations in past crisis situations, including the Walkerton E. coli crisis, the Maple Leaf Foods listeriosis contamination, the BP oil spill, the Sago Mine disaster and others. Participants will be thrust into a simulated crisis situation and war room response and, after being trained, will conduct realistic simulated interviews based on their individual crisis scenarios. This session is recommended as ideal preparation for business continuity planning. We also offer real-time media relations support and advice for companies dealing with crisis situations.  

What Participants Will Learn 

  • How to establish a crisis communications action plan (or audit your existing one),
  • What executives and media relations personnel need to be doing in those first few critical hours of a crisis,
  • How to use media relations to contain the situation and minimize speculation,
  • The value of transparency and how to properly convey it during a crisis,
  • Famous case studies of media relations in times of crisis,
  • How to anticipate the questions you'll be asked by a reporter during a crisis,
  • How to craft a compelling messages that will resonate with reporters,
  • What reporters are looking for and how to use that to your advantage,
  • Your 'rights' in a media interview and how to defend them,
  • How to prepare for a media interview, (print, radio and TV),
  • Threats to effective media relations and how to overcome them,
  • How to keep every media interview to about five minutes in length,
  • How to gain more control over your quotes that end up in the story,
  • Techniques for succeeding in media interviews in times of crisis
  • How social media has changed crisis communications, how it could impact your company and what you need to know,
  • And much more.

*Session content can be customized to accommodate any specific requirements or learning objectives.



Like all of our media training sessions, the Issues & Crisis session is divided into the following three main components. However, the subject matter is focused specifically on crisis situations that could impact a particular client's business and how the media relations approach should be handled in these situations. The simulated interviews are all based on hypothetical crisis situations and are intense and challenging for participants:

  1. Laying the Foundation: In this engaging and interactive introduction, participants will learn the fundamentals of crisis communications and proven techniques for successfully handling media interviews in times of crisis. 
  2. Hypothetical Interview Scenarios and Message Development: Each participant is given a detailed, customized interview scenario based on and issue or crisis that could potentially impact their company. Participants are guided through the process of crafting messages for their upcoming interviews. Messages are read aloud, stress-tested and enhanced prior to the interviews.
  3. Simulated Media Interviews: Each participant will conduct simulated media interviews in print, radio and/or TV formats. Interviews are conducted by veteran journalists and are exceedingly realistic. Each interview is followed by a detailed and constructive analysis, including specific feedback and tips for improvement. We also use a full-size TV style video camera with professional lighting and hand-held mic for maximum realism.

Contact us for more information or to request a proposal