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Make Your Message Heard Media Training 101: Working with the Media

  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation 185 Oakes Street Southwest Grand Rapids, MI, 49503 United States (map)

Join WMPRSA for this month’s luncheon featuring Walt Parker, media training extraordinaire from Weber Shandwick, an internationally acclaimed PR agency with tons of experience in the media training world.

Walt will share pointers on understanding and working with the media and will provide important takeaways in the following key areas: 

  • What to do when the reporter calls
  • Preparing for the interview and the three-part answer 
  • Developing and sticking to pre-determined key messages
  • Do’s and don’ts of any media interview
  • The difference between broadcast, print and radio and how to prep for each
  • Examples of some of the best and worst media interviews of all-time

About Walt Parker

Walt has consulted from the Weber Shandwick Minneapolis office for 19 years on crisis communications and management, key message development and has done executive media/presentation training for clients of all practice groups in the office. He is also tapped by other offices in the Weber Shandwick network for the same roles.

His current clients include Spectrum Health, Children’s Minnesota, Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Agilent Technologies, Honeywell International, CIGNA HealthCare and Abiomed. He has coached executives from Fortune 500 CEOs to regional sales teams, scientists and medical experts, professional athletes and senior U.S. government officials in the art of drafting and delivering messages that resonate and influence. 

He has worked extensively in litigation PR, in devising crisis preparation drills and has written a variety of crisis communications plans. Direct crisis experiences include staffing “war rooms” to respond to lawsuits, production plant accidents, a CEO suicide, a fatal airplane accident, data breaches, product recalls and HR claims.

Before joining Weber Shandwick, Walt was a Senior Editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1996-98, directing all public safety coverage, local columnists, breaking news reporters and religious coverage for the 200,000-circulation daily, then owned by Knight Ridder Inc. He was a reporter at the paper for 16 years before that, where his beats included healthcare, business technology, local government and work on a Sunday project team.

A Montana native, he graduated from the University of Montana with a B.A. degree in journalism. He and his wife, Peggy, live in St. Paul and are the parents of two children, now adults.