Strategic Media Skills for Senior Managers — Course Description

This two day intensive course is designed with senior managers who have tremendous demands on their time and want a course that can produce immediate results. With a maximum of eight participants each one gets three chances for a simulated interview over the two days. These will help the manager with his/her spokesperson role. One interview simulates a crisis situation where the reputation of the organization is at stake. Other sessions will build skills in dealing with a crisis, organizing a media friendly office, and knowing how to use new media as part of a communication strategy for the organization.

Sessions will include:

Achieving Organizational Goals – The Role of Communication. This session shares best practices in the area of strategic communication and profiles recent best practices. Introduces a logical framework that senior managers can apply to build a strong communication culture within their organizations.

Preparing for and delivering during an interview. Participants share the latest lessons learned from dealing with interviews whether for print, TV or Radio and whether in the United States or in any other media environment. Approach used is mentoring and coaching as well as sharing lessons learned from live TV clips. Each participant gets to spend extensive time with one of the CDC coaches that will be present throughout.

Dealing with Crisis – How can organizations deal with news and events that have the potential to destroy credibility that has been built up – or at the very least distract from the main purpose of your organization. This session will address some key issues related to damage control, how to develop response mechanisms and diminish the impact of such events in the future

Key tools to engage the media and how to use these more effectively. This session will look at the role of background briefings in particular at getting your message out. We will also look at how you can have stronger messages and use the new technology to stay on message.

Using Social Media – This session attempts to answer some key questions. Why use Social Media for development and UN issues; what is social media, when to use it and some focus on how it can work for development. Emphasis is placed on strategic decision making.

Workshop Faculty

"Bangkok SMS 2011"

Moncef teaching in Bangkok

The workshop is usually led by Moncef M. Bouhafa, who has been a key media trainer for senior officials in the UN, Civil Society and Government.  The second trainer will depend on the region where the course is being held.

Who should attend ?

It is ideally suited for officials in a leadership role either at the country or department level. In the past Resident Coordinators of the UN System have found this course a useful complement to the UNCT Leadership and Coordination Course that is held multiple times a year in Turin by the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC). UNFPA country representatives have also found that it is beneficial in providing the skills that they need to advocate on issues related to population and development as well as reproductive health. Senior staff from the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (DPA) in New York have been frequent attendees and have found the course useful in providing them with immediately usable skills as they often face critical and even hostile press on issues related to global crisis management.

We would recommend the course for

United Nations Agency Country Representatives and Directors

Chief Executive Officers of Non Governmental Organizations (NGO)

Director Generals of Public Sector Ministries as well as Government Spokespersons

What some participants have said about the course

“This is one of the most important training sessions I have had. I have been given additional confidence.”

“Very useful and important training, should be mandatory for everyone working in the UN

“Consciously or unconsciously, I have, up to attending this workshop, considered journalists as “dangerous species” to avoid. I now see things differently: meeting with journalists could be an opportunity to get our message across!”


The course is intended for a maximum of eight participants in view of the intensive coaching and mentoring approach. There will be a minimum of two trainers to work with the participants and there will be ample opportunity for the participants to interact with each other as well as with some representatives of the working press in the city where the workshop will be held.

For course fees, please contact Moncef Bouhafa at the email address below. The fees include tuition, workshop costs (lunch and coffee breaks) as well as all materials, and coaching sessions. Each participant will get a soft copy of their interviews as well as an individual feedback memo from the coaches.

For more information please contact

Moncef M. Bouhafa at

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Moncef Bouhafa

Program Director
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