Welcome to The Media Team Academy

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Budgets are squeezed, channels are changing, and we live in an analytical age where there is greater interest in measuring the performance of the media team function.

Many teams are also now working remotely – or are taking a hybrid approach – which means they may have lost some of their visibility.

To help counter these challenges, and help comms professionals fulfil their potential, we are now taking applications for the second cohort of The Media Team Academy.

Can anyone join the Media Team Academy?

The Media Team Academy is an exclusive community of comms professionals who want to improve and develop their careers.

We want to ensure we build a collaborative and supportive community that represents a broad spectrum of industries, skills and experience levels.

Our first cohort has more than 240 members working for 43 different organisations. And they come from a range of backgrounds, with department heads, comms directors, managers and comms officers among the ranks.

We will continue to closely monitor membership applications for our second intake and expect the majority of applicants to be invited to join by Media First or introduced to us by an existing academy member.

If you like the sound of the Media Team Academy and would like to register your interest to boost your development by learning alongside like-minded colleagues, contact us today about becoming an academy member.

Continue reading below to learn about everything you'll get access to if you are accepted as a member.

Price: £795 + VAT

Introductory price: £595 + VAT

12 month subscription

Already a member? Access your account by clicking here.

What is the Media Team Academy?

The Media Team Academy is a community of comms and media professionals, at different stages of their careers, who come together to learn, develop and feel inspired.

It is an invite-only programme designed to support, motivate, and energise teams, so you achieve your targets and ambitions and prove your value.

For a one-off yearly price of just £595 + vat, you and your media team of up to eight people will get access to exclusive live video masterclasses, online courses and a hub of other resources and content.

Each month there will be an hour session with one of our current working journalist tutors, covering media and communication skills topics. And, as we are specialists in communication training, you will leave these sessions with new skills, techniques and ideas on how you can better support your business and push your career forward.

There will also be monthly career development sessions, led by an accredited Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) tutor, exploring leadership skills and coaching techniques. These will help with daily tasks, such as giving feedback to senior leaders, managing your workload, optimising health and wellbeing, resilience and career progression.

And, as if that’s not enough, you and your team will also have access to our range of online ‘on-demand’ courses, offering you the chance to learn something new or refresh existing skills – like making smartphone videos or crisis management.

Media Team Academy members can also access a dedicated resource hub, packed with articles and downloadable content, such as message development sheets and media interview preparation guides.

And with access to an exclusive chat function that allows you to message and connect with other Academy members, you’ll have advice and different opinions for your peers and our experts at your fingertips.

Monthly media skills masterclasses

Each month, we will run an hour-long high impact online interactive session.

Although best watched live - so you can get involved in the discussion and ask questions - we will also be recording them, enabling you to catch up later.

We want the Media Team Academy to be as interactive and beneficial as possible. So, you’ll have the option each month to vote for what we cover in these masterclass sessions.

But to give you more of a flavour, here are some initial topics we have covered:

How to coach your spokespeople
Message development techniques
Crisis communications
Media skills
Writing skills

Media Skills Masterclass: Briefing Your Spokespeople Ahead of a Media Interview

What? How do you brief your spokespeople ahead of meeting a journalist or sending them off to do an interview?

Do all of your teams use the same techniques, methodology and approach?

During this interactive masterclass we'll explore how you can brief your spokespeople to ensure all of the hard work you put into developing the perfect message doesn't go to waste.

In this masterclass we'll cover all this:

  1. How to implement a consistent approach to briefing your spokespeople and improving their media performances.
  2. The importance of understanding your individual spokespeople and building trust.
  3. What happens when your spokesperson goes rogue?
  4. How you can work alongside the journalist and the spokesperson to everyone's benefit.

Media Skills Masterclass: Message Development

What? Creating messages that resonate with your audience can be time consuming. And getting consistent messages across the media team, different departments and business functions can be challenging.

Every single word and subtle nuance can make a difference, whether you are talking to the media, delivering a crucial presentation or speaking at a parliamentary hearing or public inquiry.

By using the Media First messaging methodology, you and your team will be able to create more consistent messages quicker. 

You’ll also be able to adapt and hone your corporate messages for each of your different audiences.

Here's what we'll cover in this session:  

  1. How to encourage consistent messaging across regional comms teams, subject specialists and business functions.
  2. How to create proactive media messages that journalists, editors and your business will love.
  3. How to create crisis management messages that show compassion and action.
  4. How to quickly adapt existing messages and bring them to life with case studies.
  5. How to test your messages.

Media Skills Masterclass: Crisis communications series

What? This four-part masterclass series will be hosted by Sean Ryan, former associate editor, deputy news editor,  environment correspondent and science editor at The Sunday Times. As well as being a senior trainer for Media First, Sean is also the Director of Media at Save the Children.

Across the series Sean will be using his vast experience in communications and the media to look at best practice from predicting and preparing for a crisis to minimising reputational damage and repairing trust.

Across the series, we'll cover:

  1. The types of crisis every well-run organisation should be prepared for.
  2. Case study discussion: what do we think of the way recent crises have been managed?
  3. Planning your response in each category
  4. Key crisis management practical points to consider.
  5. Can you spot a crisis coming and see it off?
  6. The role of your crisis spokespeople.
  7. What can you learn from others who have faced a reputational crisis and survived?
  8. Could your organisation emerge stronger from a crisis that's been well-handled?

Media Skills Masterclass: Media Skills Refresher

What? Working in comms is tough. And managing journalists takes practice, commitment and confidence.

During this 60-minute masterclass we’ll start by going back to basics and exploring some of the key skills and techniques that media team members can use when managing the media and journalists.

We’ll also explore how the media has changed post-covid and what this means for you.

Although ideal for less experienced team members this masterclass will also be a brilliant refresher for seasoned media pros and managers amongst the academy.

We’ll cover:  

  1. What a journalist wants from you.
  2. What you need to gather from a journalist when they get in touch.
  3. How to manage an aggressive or obstructive journalist.
  4. What to consider when pitching your story ideas to journalists and editors.

Media Skills Masterclass: Writing skills

What? Not only does good business writing still matter, but written communication is becoming more important than ever.

Emails, blogs, social media posts, website copy, press releases, branded content, marketing material and white papers are all powerful tools that require good writing skills to reach the intended audience and have the desired impact.

Writing emails alone will account for 10 per cent of our working lives according to researchers and even an effective speech needs to be written well in advance.

But capturing your thoughts and intentions in words is hard. In the words of American author Walter Zinsser, “it’s one of the hardest things people do”.

In this masterclass we’ll cover all this and more: 

  1. Writing supporting emails that grab the attention of journalists.
  2. Headline writing techniques from the media.
  3. How you can make your press releases even more powerful.
  4. Learning transferable skills that will help you in every area of your business comms

Personal development masterclasses

We’ll also be running 6 personal development masterclasses across the year. Just like the media skills masterclasses, these interactive online sessions will give you and your team the chance to develop new skills or refresh existing ones.

Similarly, your input will be crucial to the content of our management training techniques masterclasses.

To give you more of an understanding of what this will look like, initial topics have included:

  • Coaching skills to help you develop your spokespeople
  • Management skills that everyone can use
  • How to manage and coach ‘upwards’
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Resilience

Online, on-demand, training courses

Academy members also get access to our online, on-demand, training courses (normally worth £195 each). These are available whenever and wherever you need them and can be completed on a PC, Mac, Tablet or Smart Phone.

As a member your team will have 10 user licenses. You can use these to refresh your presentation skills, learn how to make brilliant videos on your smartphone, or discover more about business coaching skills. The choice is yours.

The choice of courses include: 

  • Media skills (refresher)
  • How to film and edit like a pro on your mobile
  • Essential crisis management
  • Identifying positive media stories
  • Presentation and personal impact skills
  • Copywriting for content marketing
  • High impact coaching skills

Academy resource hub

You’ll also have access to a dedicated academy resource hub.

Here, you can take your pick from more than 80 learning resources and communication aids to support your development and help you tackle everyday tasks.

The hub is constantly growing and is packed with eBooks, webinars, downloadable templates, case studies and blogs.

Collaborative community

As an academy member, you’ll have access to a chat function that allows you to ask the group – including our experts - anything.

What does this mean? Well, if you need some advice from someone outside your organisation about a particular topic or challenge, then why not ask a peer on the chat.

We can’t promise you’ll get the answer to everything, but sometimes just having someone different people to run an idea past can make the difference.

Additional member-only discounts

As if all of this is not enough, Media Team Academy members will also benefit from an exclusive discount of 20 per cent off leadership skills and interpersonal skills courses run by our sister company, The BCF Group. 

And a 30 per cent discount code for any additional Media First online-only courses.

Apply to become a member below.

The Media Team Academy is a 12-month subscription.

For a one-off payment of just £595 + vat, you and up to seven of your colleagues will have access to all the brilliant content and support we have outlined above.

And, don’t forget, this is your programme. As an academy member, you’ll have the chance to shape the academy, and influence what we cover in the future.
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Frequently asked questions

If I apply am I guaranteed membership?


We want to ensure that we build a collaborative and supportive community that represents a broad spectrum of industries, skills and experience levels.

So, for example, if we find we have too many applications from one sector then we may choose to withhold your enrolment until we launch a future cohort.

What if we have less or more than 8 people in the media team?

Membership to Media Team Academy allows you to give access to up to 8 team members.

The price remains the same even if you have less team members - it just means that your team will benefit from access to more of our courses.

If you have a larger team please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

How can the 10 licenses for online courses be used? 

We will give the lead user an 100% discount code which can be used 10 times.

It may be that you choose to share these out equally amongst your team - or perhaps you have one individual who would benefit from accessing multiple courses. It really is up to you.

When does the 12 month subscription start and end?

It starts the day you pay for access and receive your unique login credentials and ends 12 months later.