Chilean Miners: Will Media Training Help?

by coach on October 12, 2010

Chilean miners got media training

Less than 24 hours from now, the final dramatic rescue of 33 trapped Chilean miners will take place. After 68 days underground, they will be lifted in a rescue capsule, one at a time, from more than half a mile below the earth. And they’ve been media trained to help them cope when they arrive on the surface.

The miners will face an overwhelming crush of media attention. More than 400 accredited media are already on-site as journalists broadcast the drama to the world.

The men have been receiving survival, medical and safety training by an audio link. Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports Chilean radio journalist Alejandro Pino has also been talking to them with interview tips for about an hour a day in the past few weeks.

The challenge is many of the miners are poorly educated, so Pino’s media interview advice has been simple:

  • answer the first question you hear and understand clearly
  • if you hear several questions, answer the one that is easiest
  • be yourself; speak from your heart, not your head
  • tell your personal stories
  • use your body language as well as your words
  • the media are not your enemies.

It’s excellent media training advice for every situation.

While all eyes will be on the 33 miners rescued, in the background another story is brewing. 250 other miners and the community await news on the future of the mine and their jobs. It’s very likely they will not receive the same treatment, payment for interviews or fund raising benefits as the 33 rescued miners.

One thing’s for certain. This will be an unavoidable media circus, broadcast to the world and utterly fascinating to watch. Let’s hope that the miners, their families and local residents get fair and responsible treatment by the world press.

Hopefully their media training will help them cope better too with their time in the spotlight!

We’ve got more than 300 media training articles for your reference and there are lots more interview tips and tactics in the PR Library as well. Let us know what you think of the media coverage of the story and how the miners did in their interviews.

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Photo credit: Kate Sedgwick

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