This course covers top-level media engagement for senior communication managers and directors.You will learn to design strategic media campaigns, manage productive press office teams, and engage the media effectively during a reputational crisis.

You will refine your personal spokesperson skills in videotaped role-play interviews and coaching with real journalists.

This is an advanced-level course designed for learners in senior roles, aspiring to mastery and innovation. Learning is pitched at a level to help you to synthesise best practice and direct strategic implementation.

This course is recommended for communication managers and directors with existing experience of handling the media, and whose advancing career now requires them to engage at a more strategic level. This is not a course for media relations professionals at an early career stage.

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Execute professional and effective press conferences
  • Design complex and multifaceted media relations strategies
  • Perform effectively as a spokesperson including in challenging media interviews
  • Handle the media professionally and effectively during a reputational crisis
  • Engage with the media strategically at a top editorial level

Advanced media dynamics

This module covers top-level approaches to media management from a communication director’s perspective.

• Navigating the charged relationship between PR and the media
• Balancing tactics and strategy
• Strategic media engagement
• Trends and developments in media relations tactics
• Online media relations: engaging journalists on the Web
• Blogger relations

Supporting spokespeople

This module covers how to prepare senior spokespeople to perform well in media interviews, from the perspective of a communication director.

• Policies and systems
• Media insight
• Analysing the news landscape
• Practical messaging for interviews
• Predicting questions
• Defensive preparation
• Q&A and briefing documents
• Pre-interview coaching for VIPs

Ethics in media relations

This module deals with why and how communications professionals can and ought to “do the right thing” in dealings with the media.

• Managing the reputation of the reputation managers
• Universal codes and principles of ethics as applied to PR
• Veracity, harm avoidance, beneficence, confidentiality and fairness

Building media authority

This module covers strategic engagement with journalists at a senior editorial level.

• Building authority in the media
• Thought leadership
• Creative platforms for authority
• Stimulating and managing third party advocacy
• Issues-led media relations: planned opportunism
• Case study analysis: effective media relations
• Tricky situations, and how to handle them


Working in partnership with the International School of Communication