Guardian journalist meets with members at an ACP media event

Guardian columnist, Annalisa Barbieri spoke to ACP members about how to approach press and media work. 

ACP Chair, Heather Stewart, ACP Media and Comms lead, Alison Roy and Press Officer, Nina Jacobs, organised a workshop in March for ACP members who are interested in doing press and media work for the ACP. Alison reflected on the need for more ACP members to get involved and take an interest in promoting the unique work of child psychotherapists. She stressed that journalists like Annalisa Barbieri from the Guardian Problem Solved column, are interested in what we have to say and thanked Annalisa for taking the time to speak to members about media work. Annalisa spoke about her experience being a journalist but also the wealth of knowledge and experience child psychotherapists have, when talking about children and young people and mental health.

Top tips from Annalisa when doing press/media work:

  • Research the journalist you are speaking to
  • Ask about the overall heading or theme of the article
  • Ask for clarity if needed
  • Treat journalists as you might a patient-remember that they are calling you and are interested in what you have to say
  • Don’t feel the pressure to answer “there and then” but also be aware that sometimes that journalists really do need an answer as soon as possible 
  • Be clear and concise where you can – journalists will have a word count
  • Check how you’re being quoted i.e.- as a child psychotherapist

There was a helpful and lively discussion about examples of media work and how to be "experts" whilst being accessible.  Nina Jacobs spoke about the experience of members contributing to media work. She also talked about the numerous requests we’ve had and from whom and reflected on feedback and the importance of focusing on the positives - being realistic with expectations.

ACP member Rachel Melville-Thomas also spoke about her work on the radio and gave advice for radio interviews and ways to stay focused. She give a clear and helpful list of techniques for staying calm and focused on radio. She reminded members that the media doesn’t want to hear "carefully explained moderate points of view – they are looking for interesting hooks and themes."  Members came up with the idea that we should hold another media event and involve trainees. Please let Alison or the ACP office know if you would be interested in any future media workshops. Members can access a help guide for media work here.