Media training for ECS


Mastering the camera interview with ECS

Media training

ECS, a leading logistics firm based in Zeebrugge, wanted to improve their executives' communication skills. They asked Evoke to organise a comprehensive media training session. Renowned media expert and former journalist Jeroen Wils led the session, focusing on empowering ECS representatives to convey their key messages effectively while steering (camera) interviews in their desired direction.

Control the interview

The core principle emphasized throughout the training was the necessity to assert control over interviews. ECS executives were taught to ensure the delivery of their key messages through clear, concise quotes lasting no longer than twenty seconds. These quotes, partially reprising the interviewer's question, aimed to maintain focus on ECS's agenda while preventing misinterpretation or distraction.

For instance, when asked about ECS's investment strategies, an executive could respond, "We invest in innovative technologies because...". Here are four tips for a successful camera interview:

1. Thorough preparation

ECS executives were advised to prepare three key messages or quotes and repeat them consistently. When the interviewer strayed away from these subjects, they were encouraged to use bridging techniques to guide the conversation back to their desired core points.

2 An interview is not a dialogue

Understanding that interviews are not dialogues but platforms to convey messages, ECS executives were reminded not to assist interviewers with spontaneous answers that might be framed in a non-desirable way. Instead, they were urged to consider journalists as a means to get their message heard.

3. Clear communication

Executives were instructed to provide clear, understandable responses, partially echoing the question, and avoiding jargon. This approach catered to a broader audience, ensuring accessibility and engagement.

4. Newsworthiness 

To enhance media appeal, ECS executives were advised to incorporate elements of novelty into their interviews. Emphasizing concrete examples, statistics, and societal relevance bolsters the credibility and interest of their messages.

When standing in front of a camera, it is important to not only pay attention to the message, but also to how it is presented. These are three tips to improve your on-screen presence:

1.  Posture

Stand upright with legs apart for stability, maintaining a relaxed stance. Keep your arms in a 90° angle for an open, expressive posture. Focus on the journalist beside the camera rather than looking directly into the lens, fostering a more natural and engaging connection.

2. Positioning

Address any environmental distractions, such as bright lighting. Pay attention to the surroundings and make sure the background is neutral to ensure visual integrity.

3. Adaptability

Confidently rephrase responses when struggling to find the right words. Avoid mirroring suggestive questions directly. Instead, transition to your key messages, maintaining control of the narrative.

Through strategic guidance from Evoke PR and expert coaching by Jeroen Wils, ECS executives improved their media skills. By mastering the art of controlling interviews, delivering concise yet impactful messages, and optimizing their on-camera presence, they can enhance their  public communication and strengthen the company's presentation in the media landscape.

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