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Mosaic training blog

24 Feb 2015

Mosaic Media Training for Universities

Academics and university staff are requested to take part in media activities because of their specialist knowledge. Involving your University or Higher Education establishment’s press office is a first step and, while some institutions have in-house communications professionals, there are many occasions where bringing in an external agency can be advantageous. For starters, a dedicated training agency will be up-to-date with the very latest in media platforms and communication techniques and can ensure you are well adept at handling ‘the media’.

Delivering lectures in front of large audiences can be a breeze compared to being interrogated by a journalist with a television or video camera present.  Being trained to communicate your ideas and research externally via the media is a totally different ball game. Whether it’s in front of a television or video camera, on the radio, or direct to your audience via a tweet or blog post there are some rules of engagement with each media discipline.  Mosaic Media Training offers bespoke TV, radio and social media interview training for universities and academics. Here are some generic tips, in particular with focus around the ever-increasing use of video online:

  1. Key message(s). If you are being pre-recorded as part of a television, video or radio package chances are the journalist will only want a 20-30 second soundbite so it is important to be succinct. Plan in advance the points you wish to deliver.
  2. Consider the location. If a journalist is coming to visit you they might have an idea of where they want to conduct the interview, but if they don’t know your environment well, they might be grateful for your input. Try to offer the journalist and camera operator some options; the weather, time-of-day and the sounds in the environment can all impact, so having options will suit all.
  3. Everything is on the record. Be honest with your responses and remember nothing is off limits. A ‘no comment’ or ‘I’d rather not talk about that’ approach will usually backfire. If you are dealing with a controversial subject matter you might wish to consider if your views are compatible with the corporate vision of your institution – being at odds with your employer publicly isn’t always wise.
  4. Looking the business. If you are being filmed by a television or video camera crew try to be early and ready for the interview; make sure you aren’t filming on an empty stomach as any ‘rumbles’ might get picked up by the microphone. Be sure to have a glass of still water close by as you don’t want your throat to dry up.  Don’t wear fine patterns or shirts with checks or thin lines as these can cause a ‘strobing’ effect on TV screens that will be distracting to the audience. Gents, a dark jacket over a white shirt looks great in most lighting situations. Ladies, apply a little extra powder as lighting can make your face shine. The key to ensuring you look and sound your best is to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.
  5. Body language.  When being filmed it’s imperative to lock your eyes onto the interviewer at all times; if your eyes wander it will create suspicion around what you are saying and make you look less credible. Some people tend to ‘sway’ when standing or ‘swing’ when sat on a chair. All of this needs to be avoided as it will be distracting to the viewer and means they will be less likely to digest what you are saying.


Media Training for Academics

Provided by Mosaic Media Training’s award-winning broadcast producers and journalists.

We tailor our training and courses to suit your needs, constantly keeping afresh with the latest in media and communications platforms and techniques. Our training will prepare academics for all types of broadcast interviews including pre-recorded, live and down the line interviews.

With Mosaic Broadcast Skills Training, you will learn about:

  • The broad range of new media and communications platforms available
  • Understand journalist / producer terminology
  • Ensure you get your key messages across in radio, television and video interviews
  • How to overcome nerves or concerns about being interviewed by the media
  • Make the most of the power of image
  • Adapt the message to your audience
  • Perform live and pre-recorded radio interviews
  • Use soundbites to your advantage
  • Prepare and deal with those challenging and awkward questions
  • Ensure you are able to be as helpful as possible to an often time-precious news team
  • All training will be recorded and full feedback will be given


Find out more

Author: Darius G Laws, Mosaic Media Training Video Producer & Account Manager

Find out more - ask Gemma

Contact media training manager Gemma to book Media training or for further information on a media training course

Contact our Media Training Manager Gemma to book or for further information.

Telephone: 01206 841933