Media Training2024-03-19T11:26:16-04:00

Marx Layne Media Training is a Must for Business Executives

It’s not about answering a reporter’s questions — it’s about delivering your messages.

“The reporter is out to get me.”
“I might say the wrong thing.”
“I’m uncomfortable in front of the camera.”
“I don’t have a good speaking voice.”

These are excuses to avoid interviews. The truth is, most reporters are only trying to do their job — to get a story — and have no interest beyond doing it and beating a deadline.

Reporters often cite the public’s right to know to get answers. This can put you on the hot seat. Speakers who don’t know all the facts can say the wrong thing. Being prepared for the media helps eliminate both concerns.

The Marx Layne & Co. media training teaches you how to:

  • Think like a reporter
  • Anticipate the story a reporter is pursuing
  • Craft messages to answer almost any question
  • Deliver your messages in a clear, concise, impactful manner
  • Become more comfortable, confident in front of a TV camera
  • Be proactive in your company’s media and public relations efforts
Marx Layne Media Training

What We Do


Our team of professionals includes former news executives, reporters and newsroom decision-makers who know how the media works from the inside. We travel nationwide to train executives at Fortune 100 automotive and telecommunications companies, multinational food and retail companies, financial institutions, medical centers, large nonprofits, and municipal leaders and top educators.

Our training sessions emphasize real-world scenarios, placing participants from your health departments in likely interview situations that correspond with their individual training needs. All interviews are done with a TV camera to reflect the actual experience of the most challenging media interactions. These live training sessions are customized and interactive. Our training program will include:

  • Meeting with you to determine your communication priorities for each individual participating in the training, and to develop a structure for the session.
  • A media overview with brief summaries of print, radio, TV, Internet and social media. Each medium has distinct characteristics. It is important that these variables are discussed and understood by your leadership team and spokespersons.
  • Exercises in message development. Preparation is the key to all successful media interaction. We will assist each person in identifying and developing the key messages that are critical to each interview.
  • The approach to each interview can vary, depending on the medium. Part of our training includes presentation coaching with advice specific to each interview situation, whether it is print, TV or radio.
  • Hypothetical scenarios are developed for each participant, consistent with each person’s responsibilities at the health department, as well as their specific training needs. As each scenario is presented to an individual, the group works as a team to prepare the key messages that person will utilize during the interview. These scenarios can be tailored for print, radio, or television interviews although all will be recorded with a video camera. The group is given just a few minutes to prepare the person for the interview.
  • Simulated interviews, developed in conjunction with you, and designed to mirror real-life circumstances. These allow training participants to experience much of what occurs during a media interview. Al Upchurch acts as the reporter and our videographer records all the interviews.
  • Each interview is played back for review and critique in the group setting. We have found that this collaborative atmosphere enhances the learning experience for all media training participants.

Our training can vary from one-on-one executive coaching, small group coaching, and sessions with ten or more participants. All customized media training session will prepare you for:

  • Television interviews
  • Radio interviews
  • Print interviews
  • Ambush interviews
  • Live call-ins
  • Press conferences
  • Crisis communications
  • High level presentations

A television interview can be intimidating but it doesn’t need to be. Television provides a great opportunity to support your brand and present a story or message to an audience that your organization needs to reach. It won’t transform your business but it can be important to your overall PR and marketing strategy. Marx Layne Senior Vice President, Al Upchurch, worked in TV News for many years and leads our media training team. In this video he has some thoughts on how to be at your best in a television interview.

When asked what media training is, most people will say it’s for people who give a lot of media interviews. While correct, the more complete answer is that media training can help expand many communications skills. In the following video, Senior Vice President Al Upchurch talks about the value of media training for media interviews and beyond. Upchurch has 20 years of experience as a television news producer and manager, and 12 years of experience working on media relations and crisis communication initiatives for a variety of organizations.

Media Training Team


The Marx Layne media training team includes seasoned experts with wide-ranging experience working with the news media and other key audiences when managing media. Our professionals have a keen understanding of how the media works and know best how to engage with all stakeholders during and after a crisis. From the media, customers and suppliers, to employees, civic and community groups, elected officials and others, we are well-versed in mitigating risk while helping manage the message and control the narrative.

Michael SzudarekMichael Szudarek counsels clients in the automotive, high-tech and consumer product sectors. He previously served with a Fortune 500 Company and has been on both the corporate and agency side of the communications business, understanding first-hand the many issues and challenges businesses face today in this fast paced, competitive world.

Szudarek has managed high-level crises for clients facing labor issues, product recalls and alleged discrimination. He has developed comprehensive crisis communications plans for organizations that did not have processes in place. Szudarek has served as a liaison between his clients, the media and other stakeholders, drafting employee and customer communications, talking points and media statements.


Marx Layne & Company, has been assisting Verizon Wireless with media training for several years. Alan Upchurch has done an excellent job sharing his insights and expertise of the media with his trainees, and a pleasure to work with.
Michelle Gilbert, Verizon Wireless Public Relations Manager - Michigan/Indiana/Kentucky

After facing a number of crisis situations in Berkley this year, it was very obvious that more than one person needed to be prepared to face the media. Your training gave us a the tools to use with the media. It is one thing to talk about what to do when a camera is in your face and tough questions are being asked, but it’s another to actually experience it. The mock situations you created were a perfect.

Shira Good, Berkley Schools Communications Supervisor

Case Studies


Our Thoughts

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Marx Layne + Company: Media Training Experts

Marx Layne + Company | (248) 855-6777
Metro Detroit: 31300 Orchard Lake Rd Suite 100, Farmington Hills, MI 48334

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