Media Mentors

TRAINING SERVICES

Today it’s no longer feasible to rely on traditional methods of reaching your market. Advertising and press releases/public relations just won’t ‘cut it’…

Award winning journalist and author Marion Scher has been one of South Africa’s top freelance journalists, media consultants and trainer for the last 28 years.

WRITING TRAINING

Whether it’s internal or external comms – in today’s online world it’s all about keeping it short and simple.  Marion’s workshops are designed completely around your company’s needs, using your employees’ work so they can benefit from one-on-one training, whilst learning the very latest writing techniques.

Writing for the media

Even getting the media to open an email/release these days is difficult.  Very few people know the art of getting a media release message across in one paragraph – and sometimes one sentence.  Marion teaches the art of capturing the essence of a product/campaign both in the written and visual context and getting it across in a meaningful and memorable way.

Writing in the Digital Environment

Designed for anyone who writing for websites, bloggers or social media enthusiasts as well as those currently writing in the traditional fields of public relations, journalism and marketing.

Professional Business Writing Skills

Covering every part of business writing from emails to reports – with the emphasis on clear, concise writing.

MEDIA TRAINING

Dealing with the media can be a nerve wracking business. That is if you’re unprepared. No-one should EVER face the media without some kind of training. With her extensive experience in print, radio and television Marion brings a different dimension to her media training workshops. Along with ex-SABC cameraman Simon Kelly, Marion will put each delegate through realistic interview sessions targeting just where their vulnerabilities lie, preparing them for the fiercest interviewers.

Getting the media interested in you.
This will cover just how and where to obtain the relevant media interest.

Getting the interview.
Throwing out the right hook and reaping the rewards. Will a press release do it? Or do you need more?

Communication with journalists.
Understanding just what the media wants and being able to get your message across clearly.

What do journalists see as newsworthy?
Learning to identify what your company has to offer the media and just when to talk to the press.

Being interviewed.
A crucial part of this course. Here the delegates will be taught just how to deal with what can often be a tricky situation. How to be the perfect interviewee. This will cover various types of interview from newspaper and radio to panel situations.

Dealing with the dangers of social media.
Here the delegates will be taught the best practices for dealing with social media and how to mitigate risk that comes with these digital channels.

The advantages of dealing with radio in South Africa.

Getting across clear messages and using the soundbite.
There’s nothing the press like better than someone who gives good ‘soundbites’ or quotes.

Developing your key messages (soundbites)

Showing confidence.
If you’re confident or know how to use your ‘nerves’ for your benefit you’re half way there.

Mastering the tricky techniques of television.
How to identify the right members of staff to appear on television and how to maximize this golden opportunity.

Learning how to USE the media to your advantage.
Building relationships with journalists.

The pitfalls of being in the media spotlight.
How to avoid the disastrous result of ‘bad interviews’

How to use the media for damage control.
How to handle a crisis effectively.

CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS

In these days of social media bad news travels at the speed of light and organisations only realise how seriously a crisis can affect their business when it actually happens to them and suddenly the media are knocking at their door.

Don’t wait until this happens.  This workshop helps draw up a crisis communications plan and trains your staff to face the media should a crisis arise.

TELL IT ALL, TELL THE TRUTH AND TELL IT FAST

They used to say the first 24 hours were crucial when handling a crisis – now it’s the first hour – or perhaps even less.  It’s the time it takes to send an sms, make a phone call or horror of horrors, post a blog!

Often news comes out of newsrooms before the people involved even know about it.

You will be judged by your customers, staff and shareholders on how well you handle any crisis.  UK consulting company, Oxford Metrica shows that companies are re-rated up or down – based on the perceived quality of management during a crisis.  And this re-rating process begins the moment the crisis breaks.

Testimonials

WHAT ARE CLIENTS SAYING?

Eleanor Mitrovich
CEO: Touchstone Enterprise Services

“Marion Scher is a brilliant, professional Media Consultant, Trainer and Speaker who adds significant value to organisations based on her area of expertise.

Her Media Training courses and presentations are crafted, relevant and thought-provoking; touching each audience member and forcing them to confront their own attitudes and capabilities against the reality that exists in the Media.  Marion’s knowledge, experience, insight and passion are comprehensively articulated in the course content thereby expertly equipping organisations and individuals to confidently interact with the media.

The Media Consultancy course is essential and highly recommended for all organisations to equip and prepare themselves and their staff to manage routine media engagements as well as the most complex crisis management situations”.

Margaret Moscardi
Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA)

Dear Marion

The evaluation forms have been analysed and I am delighted to tell you that your presentation was the top rated one over the two days of the 2010 Prisa Annual Conference.

Content 91.5%

Presentation 93.8%

Overall 92.7%

In general, the standard was good with all speakers rating over 75% and half over 85%.

The PRISA office has been receiving very positive comments from delegates.

Ivonne Blom
CPD Assistant: Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA)

Dear Marion

Thank you very much for spending time with our delegates and sharing your knowledge. Here is some feedback from the evaluation forms:

Overall: 97%

Course format: 99%

Comments received: none

Presenter effectiveness: 100%

Other: 93%

Marion, your professionalism and commitment to skills development is appreciated.  We have never received 100% before!

prisa

Mamokgadi Dolamo
ASM Communications & Training Solutions

Good morning Marion. Hope you had a great weekend!

We, ASM Communication & Training Solutions  thank you very much for the interactive, fun and informative presentation we had.

You contributed immensely in making the event a success.

The delegates really had fun and it was an eye opener.

I learnt a lot from you and once again thank you!

We will be hosting a Media Conference, and we will be needing your assistance in putting the event together.

We will come back to you soon,

asm-communications

Kim Hudson
Arcay Communications

I  just wanted to say thank you as the feedback from both clients was exemplary and there was much talk about how you put them through their paces etc – great stuff!

Ms Leigh Gunkel-Keuler
Pfizer SA's Biopharmaceutical Division

Pfizer South Africa’s Biopharmaceutical Division truly benefited from Marion Scher’s media training.  The training which took place earlier this year was delivered with a deep, analytical understanding of the media environment, given her vast media experience.

Essentially this type of approach is what corporate organizations appreciate as we navigate through our engagements with the media.  She was extremely focused on ensuring that the needs of the client were met.   Consequently, our training was tailor-made to meet our desired needs.

pfizer

Farzana
Marketing and Business Development: Metropolitan Life

Your media training course was like a breath of fresh air compared to the other courses I have attended previously. It was practical (using real current examples) and filled with industry insight. We would highly recommend that all people facing the media – from the PR person to the CEO – go on this course. After the course, our spokespeople were geared up and more confident to tackle media opportunities head on – even the live radio and TV interviews. We are still using the notes from the training as a guideline in every interview we do. Thanks, Marion, for making sure our team is professionally media trained.

Leigh Gunkel-Keuler
Pfizer SA's Biopharmaceutical Division

“Pfizer South Africa’s Biopharmaceutical Division truly benefited from Marion Scher’s media training.  The training which took place earlier this year was delivered with a deep, analytical understanding of the media environment, given her vast media experience. Essentially this type of approach is what corporate organizations appreciate as we navigate through our engagements with the media.  She was extremely focused on ensuring that the needs of the client were met.   Consequently, our training was tailor-made to meet our desired needs.”

Trish van Nierop
Corporate Affairs Administrator

Good morning, ladies

Thank you so very much, Marion for what was an interesting and very entertaining session yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

I am also most grateful for the Style Guides you have sent us. I am sure that they will come in most handy.

Thanks

Oliver Withers | Asset Management
African Alliance Group

As a company we had traditionally and intentionally flown below the media radar, however facing the realities of globalisation and the rapid development and uptake of the internet we accepted that we would need to reassess our Group media policy.

Marion Scher and Media Mentors gave us first and foremost the confidence to accept this change to our media policy, as following a media theory session we were able to identify the risks and opportunities we as a company could realise from embracing media relationships. In light of this “media acceptance”, Marion assisted us in developing a clearly defined media strategy which is realistic and pragmatic in its approach, and which will ultimately assist us in driving the growth and profitability of our business into the future.

Thanks
Laverne Leibrandt
Edcon

I attended your training programme last week and I found it to be very interesting and informative.  As you recommended, I got four copies of The Economist publication from our Economics Unit and I plan to continue reading their weekly issue.

You are such a great teacher, thank you. I was most impressed by the wealth of experience and knowledge you had.

Makgosi Rampa
ASASA

I would rate this workshop 9 out of 10 – the workshop was highly useful, informative and a good learning session.  It was very informative, educational and a great learning experience.

Dube Nandi
Dept of Water Affairs

Thank you very much for this opportunity. I really enjoyed the workshop, particularly the manner in which Marion presented it.  Everything was spot on in terms of content.  I really learnt a lot in two days – that’s unusual.

Portia Dhlamini
PRISA
CPD Coordinator

The course was simple and clear and Marion was a great facilitator. The information was simple and applicable.

Marion, your professionalism and commitment to skills development is appreciated.

Prinella Pillay
Corporate Communications

Thank you for your professionalism and amazing insights that you shared with the team! It was well-received by the group. Thank you.

Helen White
Orbis Africa

Marion your workshop was superb – not that I’m surprised of course. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and passion for our work.

Boatametse Mongati
BITC
Communications Specialist

Tsogo and I had a really good two days at the workshop and learned a lot from you. Thank you very much for the informative workshop. Thank you for the contacts. We will definitely make good use of the emailed contacts.

Debbie Derry
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Marion has the uncanny ability of making you feel good while pointing out the errors in your writing. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s marketing and corporate relations team have greatly benefitted from her knowledge and insight when it comes to communications.

Your input is already bearing so much fruit … media coverage has gone up, and attitudes have changed as evidenced in the correspondence below.

Franscois Barnard
BSi Bulk Sales
Sales & Marketing Director

It was such a pleasure working with you. I learnt more in one day than I have in 10 years about the media. BSi Steel (Ltd) will definitely be using you for any media training!

Farzana
Metropolitan Life
Publicity Specialist

Your media training course was like a breath of fresh air compared to the other courses I have attended previously. It was practical (using real current examples) and filled with industry insight. We would highly recommend that all people facing the media – from the PR person to the CEO – go on this course. After the course, our spokespeople were geared up and more confident to tackle media opportunities head on – even the live radio and TV interviews. We are still using the notes from the training as a guideline in every interview we do. Thanks, Marion, for making sure our team is professionally media trained.

Jack Stroucken
ABSA BANK
Director, Property Finance

We needed assistance with reports, which our consultants prepare for credit committees. With Marion’s help we were better able to structure the reports and to make them easier to read, thus improving the quality of our work and obtaining a better reception from the committees. We will once again be using Marion’s services, this time to take this training one step further enabling our staff to prepare their reports on a more professional level.

Nick Christelis
Global Management Consultant

I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone needing assistance with writing, no matter what their situation is.