PAI offers Media Training for School Leaders

Professional Development

PAI offers Media Training for School Leaders

Principals Australia Institute (PAI) is partnering with two media experts to offer a new professional development opportunity: Media Training for School Leaders.

This half-day workshop will be facilitated by public relations practitioner Grant Law and former news director Terry Plane in capital cities across Australia. Under their expert guidance, principals will develop their media interview skills, enhancing their abilities to share their school’s good news stories, and prepare for crisis communications.

For most organisations, a productive relationship with the media has many positive benefits – and schools are no different. Being interviewed by television, radio or print media is an opportunity to shine a positive light on your school, even if the subject matter is negative.

Journalists are always looking for interesting and engaging stories that they can communicate. When you are responsive and make yourself available for commentary in the media, you are positioning yourself and your school in a powerful way.

Paul Geyer, Chief Executive Officer of Principals Australia Institute, says Media Training for School Leaders will provide principals with techniques used by the best media spokespeople.

“Most school principals, by nature or by experience, are strong and confident public speakers,” he says.

“However, being a good public speaker might not sufficiently prepare you for every media interview, especially the tricky ones where your school’s reputation is at stake.

“As a spokesperson for your school, principals cannot afford to be unprepared when engaging with the media.

“Thanks to the extensive experience and expertise of Grant Law and Terry Plane, Media Training for School Leaders will help participating principals get their key messages across confidently, succinctly and with impact.”

The workshop will cover elements of effective communication including:
• An overview of media in Australia, and the elements of newsworthiness and how it relates to schools
• The process behind the interview
• How to prepare messaging in a crisis scenario
• How to get your message across when the journalist isn’t asking the questions you want to be asked
• How to respond to questions that are off-topic
• How to handle aggressive questioning and change the frame of the discussion
• How to get the same message across in different ways without sounding like you are repeating yourself

There is also a practical component, which will see each participant interviewed on camera and under lights, to assess and develop interview skills.

In the digital age, exposure in the media is forever. Interviews on live television are shared online almost immediately, and can be easily accessible for years into the future. In light of this changing media landscape, Principals Australia Institute is offering this professional learning experience to help prepare principals for public relations opportunities.

The first Media Training for School Leaders Workshop is scheduled to be held in Adelaide on Friday 25 August, followed by more in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

To register for Media Training Workshop for School Leaders, visit our Events Calendar at, or call PAI on 08 8394 2100.

PAI offers a suite of workshops supporting school leaders and their communities, including Teacher Wellbeing, Principal Wellbeing, Youth Mental Health First Aid, Graduate and Grow (mentoring and supporting early-career teachers), Leading Change (change management in schools), and more. Find out more about what PAI offers at

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