Media

Communications and PR experts need to speak with the media but employees in a wide variety of roles might also need to do so. The media skills areas for development include:

  • relationship management
  • proactive and reactive media handling

Discuss your professional development plan with your line manager, and read about the different levels in our learning strategy.


On this page:


Read (introductory)

Read our media guidance.

GCS Modern Media Operation Guide

The GCS Modern Media Operation Guide sets out the skills and capabilities government media relations teams require to deal with the combined demands of the general public, ministers and stakeholders in the 24/7/365 digital age.

GCS Modern Media Operation Guide

Insight guidance

The Insight guidance helps you to find out more audiences’ attitudes, habits and preferences. Understanding audiences is essential to government communications and insight can help ensure government communications are as relevant, meaningful and effective as possible.

Insight guidance


Read (advanced)

Book: Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness

This book is about choices – how we make them and how we can make better ones. Drawing on decades of research in the fields of behavioural science and economics, Richard Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on the choices we make.

Book: Risk Issues and Crisis Management in Public Relations: A casebook of best practice

Michael Regester and Judy Larkin define reputation, explores how to value it and provides practical guidelines for effective reputation management.

Book: Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds 

Communications coach and bestselling author of ‘The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs’, Carmine Gallo has interviewed the most popular TED presenters to get their insights and to reveal the 9 secrets of all successful TED presentations.

Book: Storynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World

Robert McKee translates the lessons of storytelling in business into economic and leadership success.


Watch or listen (introductory)

Secrets of speechwriting

Overview

By watching this webinar you will understand what it’s really like being a speechwriter and how a great ministerial speech is written. 

Learning outcomes

This webinar will:

  • lift the lid on the secretive world of the speechwriter
  • explain the role of a dynamic speechwriting function and how it can support wider departmental communications
  • reveal some of the tricks of the trade speechwriters use to engage, enlighten and entertain an audience
  • share insights on using storytelling as a way to communicate policy and create clear, compelling and coherent narratives

This course is worth 5 CIPR and CPD points.

Watch on-demand

Watch the recorded webinar: Secrets of speechwriting (GCS members only)

Watch our webinars by asking the development adviser in your department for the GCS password or contact us for their details.

Making data mean more through storytelling

Ben Wellington, a computer scientist and data analyst, uses New York City open data to tell stories. His articles have gone viral and, in some cases, led to policy changes. 

Watch the TED Talk: Making data mean more through storytelling

The surprising habits of original thinkers

How do creative people come up with great ideas? Organisational psychologist Adam Grant studies “originals”: thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world.

Watch the TED Talk: The surprising habits of original thinkers

Creating a news programme

BBC Midlands team talk about the behind the scenes of putting together a regional news programme.

BBC Academy Podcast: Midlands Today: Creating a news programme (19 minutes)


Watch or listen (advanced)

The power of story

Greg Power is President of the Canadian operations of world-leading public relations agency Weber Shandwick. Throughout his communications career, his interest has been in the challenge of building the bridge between a message and an audience.

Watch the TED Talk: The power of Story

How to manage for collective creativity

Harvard professor Linda Hill, co-author of “Collective Genius,” has studied some of the world’s most creative companies to come up with a set of tools and tactics to keep great ideas flowing — from everyone in the company, not just the designated “creatives.”

Watch the TED Talk: How to manage for collective creativity


Do (introductory)

The Academy courses are scheduled throughout the year, check our listing to book upcoming courses, webinars and events.

Academy webinar: Introduction to modern media operations

Overview

This webinar will provide an overview of our new Modern Media Operation Guide showcasing best practice.

Learning outcomes

  • It will cover the important role for media relations in government communications
  • the particular pressures government media relations officers face, and how to handle them
  • the need to build relationships – inside the department, as well as outside
  • how journalists work and what they’re looking for – and how you can achieve your goals by helping them to get it

This course is worth 5 CIPR and CPD points.

Watch on-demand

Watch the recorded webinar: Introduction to modern media operations (GCS members only)

Watch our webinars by asking the development adviser in your department for the GCS password or contact us for their details.


Academy webinar: media series

Overview

This series of videos is aimed at communication professionals across all grades, specifically those who are new to or moving into a role in press office.

This media series gives you an introduction to press office and explains how to interact with journalists, how to handle the TRUTH and how to write quotes.

Learning outcomes

By the end of video 1 – Introduction to press office, you will understand:

  • the process for reactively dealing with queries from the
    press
  • some pointers for talking to journalists on the phone
  • the 5 elements to any news story that journalists are
    looking for, and that you need to be mindful of

By the end of video 2 – How to handle the TRUTH, you will understand:

  • the media as an industry
  • the TRUTH: the five things that journalists want and what makes a news story

By the end of video 3 – Reactive media handling, you will understand:

  • what makes a good quote

Recorded webinar

Watch the recorded webinar: Media series (GCS members only)

Watch our webinars by asking the development adviser in your department for the GCS access code or contact us for their details.


Academy: Online Crisis Response and Media Relations

Overview

This course will give you the chance to build your crisis management skills through real-life examples. Throughout the session, you will work through a fictional crisis scenario using a private online crisis simulation platform. The interactive crisis simulation will require you to develop a strategy, create messaging, and tailor your response to the needs of online audiences.

Learning outcomes

  • how to use dedicated crisis response models and checklists to manage in a crisis scenario
  • comparing strategic responses, key decisions and tactical approaches with other teams, and learn from your colleagues

This course is worth 10 CIPR and CPD points.


Do (advanced)

The Academy courses are scheduled throughout the year, check our listing to book upcoming courses, webinars and events.

Understanding Disinformation (in partnership with GCSI)

Overview

Understanding Disinformation is a 6-module online course designed and delivered by GCSI (Government Communication Service International) that teaches participants how to recognise and respond to disinformation as a government communicator.

Learning outcomes

  • know how to counter disinformation and misinformation using proven tools, processes and behaviours.

The course is based on the RESIST toolkit and covers the following topics:

  • recognise disinformation
  • early warning
  • situational insight and impact analysis
  • strategic communication
  • track outcomes
  • scenario exercise

Crisis Communications (in partnership with GCSI)

Overview

You must be able to commit 2 hours per module for 5 modules.

Crisis Communications is a 5-module online course designed and delivered by GCSI that teaches participants how to respond in a crisis as a government communicator.

Learning outcomes

  • know some of the strategies you can use to respond to and communicate with citizens during a crisis 
  • understand how to apply communications principles in real-life situations
  • gain valuable insights into each step of the process, from first response to recovery and assessment

OmniGOV Academy

The OmniGOV Academy is a bespoke training portal covering all core media disciplines needed to work effectively and collaboratively with the Government’s media buyer, OmniGOV (Manning Gottlieb OMD).

Find out about the OmniGov Academy


Share

Share what you learn with your colleagues. If you are interested becoming a trainer on a course, contact us at gcs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.