I have to be honest, I find Kanye West to be HIGHLY annoying and I haven’t kept up with his latest drama. I heard rumblings that he had some sort of incident with the “Today” show, but never learned any specifics. When I ran across articles saying that his media trainer had quit after advising him not to do the interview, I started thinking about the most difficult clients a media trainer has to work with.
When it comes to media training there are essentially two types of clients–those that believe want media training and those that feel obligated to get it. Clients who feel obligated to be media trained are the hardest to work with because their confidence level is typically higher than it should be or worse, they believe that nothing they do will revamp their image, or even worse they believe that the media is out to get them and resent having to deal with it at all.
A third type of client is one that has been forced into it by necessity–either because their organization requires it or they’ve started a business and they have to be out in the forefront. Those clients are still way easier to deal with than obligated ones.
When dealing with those who are only signing up for media training because they feel obligated to do so, I have a few quick tips.
Dealing With Their Ego
Typically clients with huge egos have had good experiences with the media and have been lulled into a false sense of security. This may be because they’re good with the media in terms of poise and articulation; however, they may not actually be accomplishing anything. I find it helpful to practice messaging with my most egotistical students and I always record them. When I play the recording back I drill them on what they think they listener got out of the interview. Often they are surprised to find out that although they didn’t bungle the segment, they didn’t do anything spectacular either. Bubble busted. Too many people focus on what didn’t go wrong in an interview rather than what didn’t go right. Sure you may have talked about your new product, but did you mention the web site? The company name? Why your product is better than competitors?
This type of client is the King of Woe is Me. They think that any appeal to the media is pointless and that they’re stuck with their bad image (or no image at all) forever. They’re afraid to try and fail, and they believe media training is a waste of time. This is where case studies are helpful. Find public figures and incidents similar to what your client is struggling with and show them how the perception of that person, idea, company has changed with good coaching. Many times these clients also lack confidence–save the hardcore practice interviews for other clients. You don’t want to scare this kind of person, the fear of God is already in them.