PSA-BARMM employee completes Media Relations Training for PSA Designated Spokespersons
Farhana Jane S. Linso, Statistical Analyst of PSA-BARMM, completed the Media Relations Skills Training for PSA Designated Spokes-persons last 30 July to 01 August 2019 at A. Venue Hotel, Makati City. This was facilitated by the Knowledge Management and Commu-nications Division (KMCD) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Babes Suva and Dale De Vera served as the resource persons during this training.
This training course is designed to teach participants how to deal with the media during press conferences/briefings, radio/TV interviews, and phone inquiries. Likewise, the course teaches participants how to keep their conferences, interviews, and messages on-track during an interview or press conferences and briefings. Simulations, exercises, and case studies will enable participants to react to crisis situations where public information needs to be distributed in the most effective manner.
The three-day training was composed of nine main topics, which include 1) Definitions/traits of an effective spokesperson, 2) Media Landscape and Media Relations, 3) Messaging Key Messages, 4) Press Release, 5) Radio Interview, 6) Speaking with Reporters Over the Phone, 7) Television Interview, 8) News Conferences and Briefings, and 9) Crisis Communication Management Plan.
Participants were tasked to prepare a Press Release (PR) on any topic related to their actual roles. This PR also served as the main subject for the simulation of a news conference. Linso chose Bangsamoro Civil Registration as her main topic for the practicum. Real-life reporters critiqued the performance of the participants.
A spokesperson serves as the human form of an organization, specifically during speaking engagements. This role is usually assigned to someone in hierarchy who could speak with authority and has the ability to supply best answers to key audiences. However, in the absence of the officials, some individuals with the same level of ability to address media concerns can also be designated as a spokesperson.
In relation to this, spokespersons should have adequte information on what the organization wants to communicate to the public. They should also be able to assess and prepare newsworthy details for the media, without compromising the image of the organization they represent. Moreover, they should have the ability to effectively connect with the audience in any form and be familiar with the basic principles of crisis and emergency risk communication. Thus, PSA exerts efforts to train its designated spokespersons in dealing with the media through trainings and capacity-building activities.