When Carol Kushner got the opportunity to participate in online media training at AtEaseWithTheMedia.com, she was a bit hesitant.

It wasn't that media training was being offered online. It was her perception that all media training was inconsistent with her experience.

As the author of two best-selling books on health care policy, she has participated in hundreds of interviews during the past 20 years—everything from print interviews for newspapers and magazines to call-in shows and issue analysis on radio and television.

She had no formal media training when her first book was published in 1989. But before the publication of her second book in 1995, she attended a short media training session.

"What I remember about that experience was that I rejected most of the content of the training," she says. "The trainer was telling us we shouldn't be distracted by questions we didn't want to answer. We should keep repeating our messages."

She found this to be inconsistent with her experience, which has taught her that the best way to build relationships with journalists is to help them meet their needs — by answering questions, being credible and staying logical.

She always endeavors to get something out of exchanges with journalists, whether she's selling an idea or a book. But her success has taught her to strive for win-win outcomes wherever possible. It is the best way to be treated fairly and invited back.

When she obtained her password and signed on to AtEaseWithTheMedia.com, she was pleasantly surprised.

"I first listened to the 'Introduction' module," she says. "It talked about creating win-win outcomes with journalists and my first thought was 'this person knows what he's talking about'."

She printed the At Ease With the Media booklet that's also available at the website, read the introduction, and began listening to the rest of the online modules.

"All of the modules contain valuable insights, but I found the module on 'Managing Polarization' to be particularly helpful," she says. "It will definitely improve how I position issues in the future."

She enjoyed working through the five-question quizzes that accompany each module. She feels this creates an interactive learning experience that potentially benefits anyone who has to deal with reporters.

"The format encourages people to be active and engaged listeners with greater attention than otherwise might be possible by passively listening to a presentation," she says. "And it gives people the sense that there is content to be mastered here, which makes the learning process more worthwhile. You get something at the end when you score 45/50 on the quizzes and earn your Certificate of Completion."

Carol received her Certificate of Completion on September 30, 2009.

Privacy Policy .......................... Copyright Policy