Stuart Lakin

Head of Medicine Management  

What if your company uncovers information that’s of national importance? Information that is so valuable it could save the lives of thousands of people?  The significance of your material stirs up media attention.

Here’s how the story of Stuart, one of our clients, begins:

In my capacity as Head of Medicine Management for the NHS at Rotherham I had been involved with a unique research. I and my team were looking into the unreasonably high costs of gluten free products when purchased through the NHS. Our investigation identified hidden supplier fees that were costing the NHS and our patients hundreds of thousands of pounds!

Once news broke of our findings, I was approached by the BBC News Night team who wanted to interview me.”

Journalists can be your organization’s best friend or worst enemy and you should be prepared for both. Whatever questions they decide to ask — and some questions may be way more confusing than you’re prepared for — it is your duty to enhance your  company’s image and make the best of the media attention.

“I was delighted,” Stuart continues, “For us, the solution was as simple as changing suppliers. We reduced costs significantly and we trialled the provision of personal advice from a dedicated dietician. We improved our services immensely and saved the NHS a lot of money. I was keen to share our success so that other regions could replicate our actions. But how do I communicate all this properly?

Whilst I have delivered a lot in the way of public speaking, I hadn’t ever been interviewed live on national television!  Naturally, I was apprehensive about the interview. I knew it required a whole series of different skill sets and I realized I needed professional help.

That’s when a colleague recommended Television and Radio Techniques. I’m so glad he did!”

You may think an interview is about you, but it’s not. It’s all about the audience. Journalists don’t care about you as much as they care about satisfying their audience — which is why you need to work with someone who does care about you and your message.

To help Stuart, we took the time and effort to understand him, his position and the subject he’d talk about. Then, as experienced journalists, we were able to identify the News Night interview process, discussing what questions were likely to be asked, and what outcomes the program would be looking to achieve.

We went over the interview content, reassuring our client that he was the expert and that he had the ability to control the process through his answers. To create an awareness of the pressures of a television studio environment, we produced a mock News Night interview which, as it turned out, was far more intense than the actual interview! We threw in loaded questions and worked through every scenario, until Stuart was answering everything in a comfortable and natural manner.

“The training I received was invaluable. Without the Media Training provided by TRT, I would have struggled, and my nerves would have made me come across as unnatural. Whereas, I was relaxed, confident and able to present our department’s achievements and myself professionally. Ultimately, the delivery was down to TRT’s media professionalism. I thoroughly recommend them.”

Stuart Lakin

Head of Medicine Management