Meranda Vieyra Published “Under Pressure: Media Training for Lawyers” in the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, The 1891 Blog

September 21, 2020

Originally posted in the Colorado Women's Bar Association, The 1891 Blog.

Lawyers are a crucial source of information in the media, often providing valuable insight into current events, ongoing cases, and controversial topics. Becoming a prominent figure in the media strengthens your brand in a number of ways. First, it helps you get in front of more people who could benefit from your services. Second, it solidifies your expertise and encourages confidence among consumers.Finally, it puts you in a position to network with professionals from related fields.

However, to glean any of these benefits, you must know how to conduct yourself with the media. A simple gaffe can go viral, bringing all the wrong types of attention to your brand and weakening your credibility. Enter media training: a tool that helps lawyers learn how to interface effectively with the media—whether for a sit-down in-depth interview or a 30-second soundbite.

Goals of Media Training

Media training programs vary in scope and outcomes, but the same goals tend to come up across different courses. Attorneys who complete media training should feel and look comfortable and confident when in front of a television camera. Effective communication is essential in everything a lawyer does, but it’s even more crucial for those who have a media presence. Editing, guiding questions, and audience prejudices can warp a well-intended message, and transparent communication minimizes those risks.

Effective programs also draw clear distinctions between different types of media and the type of preparation needed for each one. In some cases, an attorney may be called up onto offer a short opinion on an ongoing case. In another, they may do a deep dive on a concluded case with an investigative reporter.

Another goal that courses often address is getting in front of the media. Lawyers in some areas of practice have an easier time establishing a presence than others. Those who prosecute or defend a major case are often given a platform by default. The same is true for family law attorneys who regularly work with high-profile celebrities or entrepreneurs during divorce or custody issues. However, it can be more difficult for an IP attorney or environmental law attorney to command the attention of the press. Many courses in media training help attorneys form various areas of practice catch the ever-wandering eye of the press.

Read the full blog post on the Colorado Women's Bar Association, The 1891 Blog.

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