Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Media Training by Jonathan Bernstein - Book review

Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Media Training

By: Jonathan Bernstein

Published: March 17, 2007
Format: Paperback, 90 pages
ISBN-10: 1450582206
ISBN-13: 978-1450582209
Publisher: CreateSpace

"Even if you have given many 'good news' interviews in the past, you're almost certain to say or do things you'll regret if you have not been media trained when in a 'high pressure' media interview situation", writes President of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., Jonathan Bernstein, in his practical and eye opening book Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Media Training. The author describes how media training will help develop key messages, to improve the chance for balanced coverage, enhancing transferable media relations skills, and assisting in identifying effective media spokespeople.

Jonathan Bernstein recognizes that media training is not a guarantee of favorable media coverage, or that the book is even of an effective substitute for full scale media training. What the book does accomplish very well is establishing the critical importance of understanding the media and the importance of presenting a strong and honest message to journalists. Along with media training not being a magic formula, Jonathan Bernstein emphasizes that media spokespeople must practice their media skills intensively, to ensure their optimal effectiveness. Whether the media is the traditional mainstream or the alternative media of blogs, social media, and podcast, a business person must have training and continual practice in responding to journalists' questions.

Jonathan Bernstein (photo left) points out that training and practice not only includes the wording of the statements, but also the non-verbal signals of voice tone and body language.The author devotes the majority of the book to providing practical media training advice, including the all important areas of honesty and ethics. Because the book focuses on media relations effectiveness during a crisis, when the chances of escalating the problem or creating an even larger problem, Jonathan Bernstein shares his three C's of crisis communication:

* Compassionate
* Competent
* Confident

For me, the power of the book is how Jonathan Bernstein demonstrates the crucial importance of media training for the representatives of any organization. In a crisis situation, where tempers are short and events may be changing by the moment, having well trained spokespeople, who show a compassionate, competent, and confident attitude are more likely to be believed and trusted. In the area of media training, the author describes how journalists work, to show organizational spokespeople the view from the other side of the microphone. At the same time, Jonathan Bernstein teaches business people the techniques that can optimize their media interviews most effectively. The author also cautions spokespeople that there are differences between media, between different reporters, and the critical importance of being truthful and ethical at all times.

I highly recommend the very useful guide Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Media Training by Jonathan Bernstein, to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the importance of media training, and looking for sound, real world advice for effective media interviews on behalf of an organization during a crisis situation. The author provides step by step techniques that can and should be practiced on an ongoing basis to learn, develop, and enhance media relations skills.

Read the entertaining and very readable book Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Media Training by Jonathan Bernstein, and discover the transformational power of effective media relations for any business. The author shares usable techniques and methods of practice to ensure that your organization has the optimal interviewing skills for facing any crisis situation.

Tags: Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Media Training, Jonathan Bernstein, media relations, business book reviews.