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Media training York St John University’s VC and top team – delivering confidence and skills

Victoria Tomlinson posted this on

York St John University is a campus based university close to the city walls in York.  A growing and popular university the challenge for its marketing director was to ensure that the newly appointed senior management team could deal positively and confidently with media interviews about the university’s ambitious growth strategy.

Northern Lights was asked to deliver media training and awareness for the VC and deputies.

Our approach was to ensure the participants were at ease with the media and confident to deliver statements or interviews in any context, even in crisis situations.

  • Training was completely tailored to York St John’s needs.  Working with the marketing and communications team we analysed recent media coverage  and identified the key issues facing the university
  • Working with experienced broadcast journalist Rob Pittam – ex-BBC and one of Northern Lights’ trusted and experienced partners – we developed scenarios and situations which were relevant and current to the university
  • We delivered interactive training that covered
    • An overview of the current media, including impact of social and online media; how a newsroom works; differences between newspaper, radio and TV
    • Interview tips and advice including what to wear, body language, key messages
    • A local TV news magazine interview based on a previously seen scenario and briefing notes
    • A breaking news story, unscripted and with camera and reporter ‘door stepping’ the university’s media spokesperson
    • Newspaper, local radio and TV interviews based on a real scenario facing the university
    • Playing back and analysing the practice interviews
  • After the training, the marketing and comms team have been able to set up press and radio interviews with their VC and senior team where they have confidently fielded questions on even the most difficult issues, turning them into positive stories.  These opportunities may previously have been declined


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