A more confident and powerful voice in the media

Case Study: British Lung Foundation Media Training

The Challenge

One person dies every five minutes from lung disease in the UK, making it one of the top three killer diseases.  The burden it places on the nation’s health, and health services, is on a par with heart disease and non-respiratory cancer. Yet the amount of resources and attention invested in tackling lung disease trails behind these other disease areas. Mortality rates are roughly the same in lung disease as they were 10 years ago – compared to heart disease, which has fallen 15%. The BLF’s leaders, medics, policy, campaign and media teams needed to ensure they made the most of every opportunity they had to raise awareness and get their message out through the media, to glean a more powerful and incisive public voice, and to build confidence in dealing with journalists after some difficult experiences of interviews in the past.

Our Solution

The 100th Monkey designed and delivered a bespoke programme of broadcast and print media training for 20 members of the BLF team over the past three years – everyone from the chief executive to press officers. We delved deep into the media issues around lung disease, and tailored the coaching to each individual participant (from accomplished, to anxious, to first timers). Theory elements included how to handle hostile questioning, and learning and practicing the elements of a visual and vocal toolkit to establish greater gravitas, control and confidence in broadcast interviews. We undertook numerous mock interviews, with recording and playback, in a variety of TV, radio and print scenarios across six different lung disease topics. Armed now with greater confidence and skills to talk to journalists, BLF’s profile and impact in the media has increased markedly in the three years we have been working with them.

Spokespeople Coached

Year Relationship


Of Participants Surveyed Said They Felt 'More Confident'


Rise in Media Mentions in the Last 3 Years

The 100th Monkey team strike a perfect balance between evoking terror and building confidence. I left the training session knowing that no real interview would be as tough as what I had just gone through, extremely confident and grateful that I had the skills to handle aggressive questioning while getting my messages across. If you know you have a crisis that demands a polished media performance, pick up the ‘phone and call Richard.  Two hours preparation with him will yield a very high return! Richard listens to your briefing and feedback, and tailors the training to individual needs.  His background research into your key topics is very thorough, and, from first hand experience, he understands journalists’ motivations and needs extremely well.  This means that when you are interviewed by a “real” journalist, you are very unlikely to be taken by surprise – and even if you are, you have the skills to cope with ease. Fantastic feedback from all levels of the organisation – from the campaigns and public affairs team who trained as a group of 5 to the CEO who had intensive 1:1 training, all of us learned a lot and gained much confidence. Penny Woods

CEO, British Lung Foundation