Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia: Media Training

This is the logo for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

Client: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

Programme: Media Training

(Delivered in Riga, Latvia, 2014)

The client

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia is responsible for Latvia’s external relations as well as its diplomatic missions abroad. http://www.mfa.gov.lv/en

The problem

Following the success of the media training course Dods Training ran for The Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia approached us to design and deliver a similar programme for diplomats and senior consular staff. Stationed around the world, it is very rare for the Ministry personnel to be in Riga at the same time. Seizing an opportunity when many staff would be in Latvia at once, the Ministry contacted Dods Training and asked us to devise a workshop for them that could be rolled out to up to 40 staff members in one day. The training also needed to be applicable to a range of participants with differing experience levels from Ambassadors to consular staff with little experience of being interviewed on camera in English.

Our actions

Dods Training quickly set to work to devise a fast-paced programme that combined the theory of media handling whilst still allowing time for plenty of practice for the participants. Working alongside our expert trainer and contacts at the Ministry in Riga we designed a fast-paced agenda which suited the timeframe but remained comprehensive. The first session was delivered as a lecture-style presentation in the press room at the Ministry in Riga. Participants were then split into groups of no more than nine for the practical sessions, of which we ran three back to back during the day. During each of the practical sessions participants were exposed to more in-depth media theory, tailored to suit each group and then given the opportunity to be interviewed on varying topics under different simulated scenarios. Using lighting, staging and camera equipment, the scenarios escalated in difficulty and pressure, ranging from basic stand-up pre-records to studio interviews with intensive questioning. We then played the interviews back to the group allowing time for peer review and expert feedback from the trainer.

Conclusions 

The course received very positive feedback. Many participants commented on how they had discernibly improved in their interview skills and techniques throughout the process. All training participants gave the trainer the highest possible ranking during the evaluation process and the only improvements suggested were to make the course longer or run it again.