The Blog

edinburgh media training provider andrew mcfarlan on camera

Edinburgh media training provider: Five reasons to stay local

We’re often asked of the benefits of choosing an Edinburgh media training provider.

Frankly, there are hundreds to choose from in London and elsewhere.

Here are five reasons to stay local.

And learn the ropes from Scotland’s capital.

1. It’s a small world in Edinburgh (and Scotland)

Media training edinburgh, victoria street with tourists walking

Rarely a week goes by without a mention of independence in the Scottish news cycle.

Opinion polls showing support or opposition.

Celebrities voicing their approval or disapproval.

Businesses blaming uncertainty and disunity for poor performance, or championing increased control over our affairs.

And in amongst that recently, the SNP’s party finances have become the only story in town.

Any individual operating in that landscape needs to know their Demo-max from their Section 30 Orders.

“I don’t have a view” is a view.

“That’s a question for the people of Scotland” is a political statement.

You need to be wily operator in the Scottish media landscape.

How you navigate it must be firmly rooted in an understanding of how it works.

Something we’ll offer on our Edinburgh media training course.

2. We’re wired differently in Scotland

Edinburgh media training provider, group sits in the pink elephant studio

Anyone living in Edinburgh, Glasgow or elsewhere will be aware of ‘the curse’.

The idea that by telling someone you’ve had a good day so far, it’s about to get worse.

I heard my neighbour last week discuss hosting an evening barbeque.

It was immediately followed by her partner saying: “Now you’ve done it!”

(It did actually start raining shortly afterwards.)

This is all a mix of superstition, a deep cultural fear of being optimistic, and a dislike of predicting success.

It happens before we run media interviews in Edinburgh, too.

We’ll often hear:

“Right, let’s get this out the way.”

“Ok everyone, this is how not to do it.”

“Here comes footage for your blooper reel.”

That’s an issue when it bleeds into the interview.

We say things like:

“We’re trying to hopefully make a difference.”

What does that mean?

‘Try’ suggests a struggle and ‘hopefully’ implies doubt.

And the journalist, sniffing blood, will keep pushing to find out why you’re doubtful.

That’s dangerous territory to be operating in.

Instead, be assertive and strengthen your commitment to others.

We’ll show you how that’s done.

3. Help, the Edinburgh Evening News is here!

Edinburgh media training provider, colin stone interviews on camera

A colleague of mine was working with an Edinburgh charity several years back.

The organisation was under scrutiny for its links to a high-profile patron.

He received a panicked call one morning:

“Help, the Edinburgh Evening News is here! What should we do?”

The response?

“Put the kettle on and invite them in.”

When things go wrong, you need to move quickly and influence the story.

Otherwise others fill the vacuum with speculation, misunderstanding and mistruth.

That’s why you’ll often see ‘vox pops’ (on-street interviews) on Princes Street or outside Holyrood.

Informal (and typically uninformed) opinions from people who are hearing the story for the first time.

The media needs to fill that airtime and those column inches.

So make sure it’s you that leads the story rather than the uninformed.

That can be uncomfortable, but there is a formula.

Read more here about regaining control during a crisis.

4. Free advertising in the contact book

Edinburgh media training provider, camera used for interviewing

Ever see the same faces reappearing time and again on the news?

The same industry figures quoted time and again?

The same voice on the radio even though the story has changed?

Seasoned journalists have their own contacts.

My colleague Colin tells me some of the reporters at STV would keep these ‘black books’ locked in drawers for fear that someone might steal them. 

They were curated lists of available spokespeople for certain issues.

You can make your way in there by being willing and available.

Send press releases into news desks. Make yourself available for comment proactively.

Offer WhatsApp voice notes to support a story.

Make yourself available via Teams or Zoom.

And the next time something happens, you’ll be called.

That’s great free advertising.

And it’s much quicker than knocking on the doors of everyone in Edinburgh to tell them about your business.

5. It’s a great way to advance your career

Edinburgh media training provider, andrew mcfarlan stands below a screen

To finish on a selfish note, there’s a personal advantage in becoming the organisational spokesperson.

You become ‘a well-kent face’, which opens doors.

In your next interview, you can demonstrate that when the chips are down, you’re the one that stands up.

You can become associated with a new product launch simply by putting your hand up to do the interview.

I’ve found that in most organisations, it’s those who make themselves externally visible and communicate well that rise to the top.

So take every opportunity that comes your way.

Get in touch now for a media training course in Edinburgh and we’ll be happy to offer our expertise in all of the above.

And hey, if it’s dry, we can even get the barbeque out afterwards.


Andrew McFarlan is Managing Director of Pink Elephant Communications.

Read more about him here.

Edinburgh media training provider blog written by Andrew McFarlan.
Edinburgh media training provider blog edited by Colin Stone.
Photos in Edinburgh media training provider blog by Pink Elephant.

Edinburgh media training provider blog

5th May 2023 Featured in: Our courses blogs By:

view all posts

Build Your Confidence

Some media trainers knock you down…and leave you down. Our media coaches show you how to deal with each knock…and still win through. So you have the presentation skills to perform – with confidence.

request a quote