Picture the scene...

You have been carrying out in-depth research that has revealed some breathtaking results. Outcomes that are of national importance and could help free financial resources that could be put to life saving use. As news of your findings breaks, suddenly the eyes and ears of the nations media are focused on you. Everyone wants to speak to you and ask searching and far reaching questions.

What do you do?

How do you field questions from highly trained journalists?

This very situation happened to one of our clients.  Here, he relates his story...

"In my capacity as Head of Medicine Management for the NHS at Rotherham I had been involved with unique research, looking into the high cost of gluten free products when purchased through the NHS. Our investigation identified hidden supplier fees that were costing the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds! Rather than identify a serious fiscal problem, we recognised a method of resolving this and a means to saving the vital NHS resources. The solution was simple, through changing suppliers purchase costs could be significantly reduced. In addition, we trialled the provision of personal advice to patients from a dedicated dietician. This resulted in a much improved service, targeted at patients who would benefit. Overall, this provided additional savings to the NHS as well as real patient value.

Once news broke of our findings, I was approached by the BBC News Night team who wanted to interview me regarding our success. I was delighted, as I was obviously keen for other regions to replicate our actions, to maximise savings at a national level. Whilst I have delivered a lot in the way of public speaking, I hadn’t ever been interviewed live on national television! Naturally, I was apprehensive about the interview since I knew it required a whole series of different skill sets. I needed professional help.

A colleague recommended Television and Radio Techniques. I’m so glad he did. From the outset, the TRT team understood the issues I faced both personally and professionally. The training I received was invaluable, it inspired confidence and allowed me to feel more relaxed about the interview."

So how did we achieve the ideal outcome for our client?

Primarily, we listened, gaining an understanding of the relevance and importance of the news. As experienced journalists, we were able to identify the News Night interview process, discussing what questions were likely to be asked, and what outcomes the programme would be looking to achieve from the interview.

We targeted the interview content, reassuring our client that he was the expert and no one know more of the subject than he did, therefore, he had the ability to control the process through that knowledge and his answers. To create an awareness of the pressures of a television studio environment, we produced a mock News Night interview which, as it turned out, was far more intense than the actual interview! We threw in loaded questions and worked through every scenario, until out client was answering everything in a comfortable and natural manner.

We’ll leave it to the client to explain how he felt about the training and the News Night interview.

Without the Media Training provided by TRT, I would have struggled, and my nerves would have made me come across as unnatural. Whereas, I was relaxed, confident and able to present our department’s achievements and myself professionally and confidently.  Ultimately, the delivery was down to TRT’s media professionalism. I thoroughly recommend them.

Stuart Larkin
Head of Medicine Management, NHS Rotherham


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