Updated Report Answers the Question: Why Is Most Media Training Subpar?

For immediate release                                  Contact:    Ed Barks
Tuesday, March 27, 2018                                                  (540) 955-0600


An updated research report finds that much media training as practiced today is largely ineffective. Why would a communications strategy and training consultant speak such sacrilege?

“Media training done right is a long range professional improvement plan,” said the report’s author, Ed Barks. “As practiced most often, however, the majority of engagements are one-off sessions, not the sustained type of upgrade that C-suite executives deserve.”

“A lone workshop will do some good,” continued Barks, President of Barks Communications. “But a comprehensive, cohesive program offers so much more benefit when it comes to strengthening the reputational bottom line.”

The report is titled The Lasting Effects of Media Training: Lifelong Learning or Temporary Phenomenon? As Barks writes, “Media training must deliver return on investment—an investment that bolsters long-term business and public policy success for the enterprise and career success for the participants. Yet in its current state, it too often fails that test due to a lack of emphasis on sustained professional development.”

The updated 27-page report discusses the responsibilities of the main parties involved with any media training program—the executives who participate, the company and its communications staff, and the training consultant.

Of added importance, it delivers 30 best practice recommendations for extending practical learning beyond the day of the training workshop. Among them: Scheduling follow up sessions at the very beginning of the planning process, providing ongoing email and telephone counsel, and giving participants quick and to the point exercises they can do in spare moments.

Barks’ research included interviews with nearly two dozen communications training consultants and internal communicators. The findings uncovered four basic attitudes surrounding sustained professional development as it relates to media training:

  • The Mover and Shaker, who wants to improve matters.
  • The Quitter, who gives up in despair.
  • The Carefree Soul, who really doesn’t care.
  • The Know Nothing, who is woefully ignorant.

In the report, Barks recommends deciding which outlook best serves a company’s needs, focusing on the return on investment it seeks.

The new edition of The Lasting Effects of Media Training: Lifelong Learning or Temporary Phenomenon? is available on the Research page at www.barkscomm.com.

Ed Barks works with communications and government relations executives who counsel their C-suite leaders, and with businesses and associations that need their communications strategy and messaging to deliver bottom line results. They gain an enhanced reputation, more opportunities for career advancement, and achievement of long-term business and public policy goals. He is the author of The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations. As President of Barks Communications since 1997, he has taught more than 5000 business leaders, association executives, and other experts how to succeed when they deal with the media, deliver presentations, and advocate before policymakers.