Media trainers need to have their own broadcast media experience!
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
It is extraordinary the number of media trainers out there who, themselves, have very little or no experience of appearing on live TV or radio. We've not kept a showreel of all of Stephen Lock's appearances before - we'll have to start! - but he reckons he has done well over 30 pieces of broadcast TV and at least double that amount of radio. We have curated a tiny selection of his appearances over the years, here.
When Russia's RT was branded as 'Russia Today', and generally had an excellent reputation in its early years, Stephen appeared several times commenting on matters from Western perceptions about the Russian presidential elections; gas disputes with Ukraine; and international investor sentiment.
Much of this was acting as client spokesperson (or 'spox' as it is often known) on litigation or public interest matters. But he has also, over the years, appeared as a commentator in his own right, including in the UK and on broadcast media in Russia and Indonesia, amongst others.
Stephen Lock said: "Joking aside, it is important that your media trainer themselves has broadcast media experience, both in a studio and in outside broadcast.
"There is always that debate of course: should we advise a client to do interviews live or pre-recorded? To the extent one has a choice, my preference is always to do interviews live: you can't be edited (but can still clip your live piece and edit it for your social media).
"I usually recommend live broadcast, unless I feel a client or client's spox would benefit from the ability to stop and start again that pre-record offers. But for live to work well, a client has to understand and be very fluent with their material; be mentally quick on their feet, and have practiced lots of Q&As with me, on camera (for playback analysis and mentoring).
"This is essential. I once was the only interviewee for over forty minutes on Indonesian business TV, discussing some research we'd published about the state of Indonesians' trust in government, business and NGOs and so forth; interviewed by someone with quite tricksy English, much of which made no sense. It was the longest hour of my life!"