Get More From Your Spokespeople feature

Five Ways to Get More From Your Spokespeople

As someone who until recently worked as Head of Media, I know that identifying and training the best media spokespeople for your company requires a lot of effort.  And over the years I’ve learnt that I should not see the initial Media Training as a one-and-done type event. This blog shares my tips on how to keep building momentum after Media Training has taken place – enabling us to get the best out of our trained spokespeople.

Get More From Your Spokespeople

Freelance PR specialist Paul Middleton shares his tips for getting more from media trained spokespeople

  1. Ramp slowly

Even after the best media training available you will never quite know how a spokesperson is going to perform in front of a journalist. Will they remember their training, lose control of the conversation, or worse still – accidentally say something materially harmful to your business? These are some of the reasons why I strongly recommend a spokesperson’s first couple of media engagements are low pressure and designed to build confidence. There is little upside to going fast and potentially damaging their self-image or creating a new reputational issue.

  1. Appraise together

Nothing beats a one-to-one Zoom call, telephone conversation, or in-person meeting immediately after a spokesperson’s first few interviews. They will be grateful for the care you have taken, their feedback will be rawer and more useful, and your ability to affect change will be optimised. My advice is to forget laundry lists of dos and don’ts at this stage. Instead, focus on what went well and ask your spokesperson how they think they did. Then pick out just one or two specific issues for them to work on –clearly demonstrating what you want to see.

  1. Understand their mindset

Getting the most out of a media spokesperson means understanding their ideas, fears, and ambitions. Successful colleagues will naturally trust their own judgement and appetite for risk. To persuade them to go beyond those boundaries, they need to feel they are in safe hands, and that you ‘get’ how they think about the media. Some colleagues want to lead public debates, others want to be seen as a thought-leader. Some want to drive the organisation’s reputation and others want to drive their own. Framing your argument correctly will accelerate your progress but more importantly, theirs.

  1. Sharing is caring

Make it easy for your spokespeople to share clips or cuttings of their media work. This has several benefits. It sends a clear psychological signal that you think their time was well spent. It amplifies their traditional media work amongst a highly relevant social media audience. It encourages spokespeople to provide further structured thoughts on a given topic. It avoids the awkwardness of spokespeople needing to ask for clips. And it provides an unsaid permission for spokespeople to be genuinely proud of their media appearances. We are all human after all.

  1. Celebrate their achievements 

Being a spokesperson shouldn’t be a chore – it should be a position of prestige. To make this distinction and demonstrate how your organisation values media work, it’s a good idea to regularly celebrate media achievements. This might mean a media star of the month or a shout-out from your CEO. It might mean a note to their line manager, or a nomination for an internal award. Whatever the case, when a spokesperson devotes time to media work rather than their ‘day job’ it’s a big deal. The more you can do to make it feel like they are part of your organisation’s elite, the better.

If you think I can help you put your spokespeople on the map, then get in touch via or



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