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Handling the Media

CEO members of experiential business learning group Academy Group 29 took part in a highly interactive and practical workshop delivered by media expert David Walter (pictured below).  The ability to perform well on radio and television and to communicate effectively with print journalists is essential.

David Walter

In his career in broadcasting, David Walter met and interviewed every British Prime Minister from Harold Macmillan to Gordon Brown.  Recently, David has helped many people in the business and other worlds to prepare to deal with crises.  A specialist in reputation management, he can illustrate the right and the wrong way to deal with a crisis when a company’s future is on the line and when the performance of its chief executive on the media can make or break it. He believes that the leader of any organisation needs to acquire the skill to deal with the media, and that this skill is transferable into many other situations.

David gave our CEO members lots of opportunity for practice radio and TV interviews. Whilst some members felt a little apprehensive upfront, the verdict was that it was much easier to do than one might have thought.

David gave very helpful feedback and members learnt from observing each other.

Main takeaways were:

  • Understand what and how to prepare for media interviews – very applicable to more traditional sales situations as well.
  • Recognise the power of stories and have good ones ready for use.
  • The importance of bridging to your key message.

Hilary Briggs

Hilary Briggs,

Academy Group 29

Academy Group 11 Chairman, Joe Adams, also rates David, commenting:

Joe Adams

“This session reminded me of media training which I had undergone whilst being chairman and MD of Encyclopaedia Britannica. David Walter is a master at relaxing people but at the same time, he succeeds in getting the adrenaline flowing to perfectly recreate the atmosphere of a hostile interview. He interviewed half the room to simulate a radio interview and the other half of the room he did a 2 minute television type interview. He then played back that interview on the TV monitor. I must say, I was impressed by the quality of my member’s interviews, as indeed, was David. But despite this innate professionalism, there was deep learning for all concerned. I believe they are now ideally prepared should they ever have to face the daunting and oft times, traumatic impact of a hostile media interview. This is Academy learning at its best!”

The Academy for Chief Executives, a leading provider of experiential business learning® facilitates peer groups of CEOs and Managing Directors who meet together every month to network and take full advantage of experiential learning. To hear great speakers like this every month and engage in The Board You Could Never Afford®, or to find a local group near you, visit

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