Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Councillor training in media

Liverpool City Council, in conjunction with the University of Chester, is running a professional course for Councillors which will eventually result in a Certificate in Higher Education for those who are successful.

I began my first module this week, Media training.

You could be guilty of assuming that as a former Parliamentary Press Officer I dont have much to learn but you would be mistaken. It is one thing to advise someone else about their media activities, and to promote them (unmercifully) in the media, but quite another thing when it is you, yourself, that is under the spotlight.

We learnt this week about being interviewed by the written media (newspapers) and the radio. In a month's time we are going to the University's campus in Warrington to practice TV interviewing in a proper (dummy) set.

I did a dummy radio interview, colleagues seemed to think it went okay but you are never sure. I dont worry about how I sound or whether I gabble, I worry about saying the wrong thing. I expect it is the same for all politicians, especially if you have someone as agressive as John Humphries interviewing you.

I learnt a few tricks that I hope will serve me well if the local radio stations ever want to talk to me.

But in any case, it is great to have formal training and I was surprised how well we worked together as a group, supporting each other, even though we are from different parties.

I can't wait to practice TV interviews in a proper studio!

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