Twofour supported the Navyâ€™s training programme for ships, submarines and the Royal Marines in the UK as part of their media training and presentation skills modules.
Each warship has a Press Officer on board, and part of Flag Officer Sea Trainingâ€™s rigorous formal assessments of the readiness of a vessel and her entire crew to go to sea, is the evaluation of their success at dealing with an on-board media visit.
Christopher Slade, a highly experienced BBC and ITV current affairs reporter and presenter, took a small TV camera unit and visited for a day to make a report, testing the Press Officer while they were evaluated by the Flag Officer Sea Training assessor.
Christopher said: â€śThe ship is under quite a challenge from me and my cameraman. I need information quickly, need to be able to interview people and have my own tight deadlines to meet â€“ getting enough footage for a story. Also, as a reporter, I write much of my material after I leave, so they have to be on the ball when it comes to making sure they tell me what they think I need to know. I am always ‘working’ â€“ so casual chats over a cup of tea are always ‘on the record’.â€ť
â€śThis is intensive training, as it tests the whole brief engagement with a visiting TV crew and curious reporter. The Press Officer is expected to have made arrangements beforehand to set up good interviewees, arranged â€śactionâ€ť to see and film, and should brief the reporter in a way that is of use.Â In addition, and adding to their challenge, the role of an on-board Press Officer is in addition to their normal duties. They are given feedback and a ‘score’ by FOST at the end of the visit.â€ť