How Media-Ready is your candidate?
Have they undergone any training or coaching?
Many sectors, such a technology and finance emphasize highly technical or specialized skills, and over time professionals in these areas develop a great understanding and aptitude for the complexities of a specific industry. However, they are then faced with a serious shortcoming from lacking skills such as communications and media relations, which often come into play at more senior levels where they have to account to broader, more diverse audiences. Individuals with specialized or technical backgrounds benefit greatly from a systematic introduction and explanation of the media and communications landscape.
Do they have a grasp of how they fit in?
Some appointees often underestimate how much weight their voice carries with a more senior position, and may be unprepared for how closely tied they are to a company’s reputation, and even share price. Having an in depth understanding of the different audiences he/she now addresses- ranging from consumers to government and competitors- as well as knowing the different ways they can interact with him/her, such as via twitter or call in radio shows, allows senior staff members to be more strategic in how they conduct themselves and business.
What is their grasp of media fundamentals?
Some people have a natural ability to speak in front of the camera or microphone, but are they savvy enough to know when to reject an interview? Do they understand what being ‘off the record’ implies? Would they be able to lead at a time when there is a Communications Crisis? Understanding how they and their company fit into a broader context will allow a manager or leader to anticipate opportunities, and address challenges far more astutely.
Puseletso Mompei is a Communications Consultant and Trainer. She offers Communications and Media training for corporate executives, spokespersons, managers, entrepreneurs, government officials, diplomats, academia and public relations officers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.kwazicommunications.co.za for further information.