Media Training NZ Blog

Clinton's body language wins debate

15 October 2015
Hilary Clinton was the clear winner in the first Democratic Debate last night. Most of the post debate discussion has been about what the five candidates said, but l declare here the winner because of her body language. This is something that’s often overlooked in political debates, but it’s just as important, if not more so, than what’s said. Those who appear more likeable and natural have a huge advantage when it comes to voters casting their ballots. That’s why John...

Labour's risky TPP message

6 October 2015
Labour need to be absolutely clear with their message on the TPP if they want to avoid alienating potential voters. They risk falling into the same trap they did on the flag debate. The current message appears to be that the party is for free trade, but has five bottom lines to satisfy before supporting the agreement. Is Labour seriously saying it may not support an agreement that cuts 93 percent of our tariffs with the other 11 countries? That appears...

Best World Cup spokesperson revealed

30 September 2015
Japan coach Eddie Jones stands head and shoulders above every other coach when it comes to post-match press conference performances at the Rugby World Cup. He expresses himself well by gesturing with his hands, while he makes his points using interesting language. For example, he used a great analogy when he was asked what his team’s chances were of making the quarter-finals after Japan lost to Scotland. He said: “Hopefully the game between South Africa and Samoa at the weekend will...

Key deals well with Cameron story

25 September 2015
John Key could have damaged his credibility if he got drawn into the David Cameron story this week. But his decision to distance himself from it may have even grown his popularity with some voters. When asked about his views on Cameron’s university escapades, Key said he had nothing to say about it. In almost all situations, Key is cooperative with the media. But he was right to stay away from this one. It’s got nothing to do with his role...

Turnbull praises Key for good reason

17 September 2015
Malcolm Turnbull made a good point when he praised John Key for his ability to explain complex issues and make a case for them. This has always been a tough job for political leaders. It’s becoming even more difficult as the average length of a sound bite is now around 7 seconds, down from 15 a few years ago. Even live broadcast interviews give leaders little time to get their points across. So how does Key do this? When he knows...

Schools discover power of media publicity. Have you?

9 September 2015
Most leaders see the news media as a threat, but two schools have recently illustrated why attracting media attention can be a powerful tool in any marketing arsenal. Tokirima School spent most of this year trying to find a Principal, but couldn’t get anyone to apply. Then a story appeared about their search in the Waikato Times. This led to 28 applications from contenders in Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. This isn’t unusual, but very few organisations ever consider...

What's Labour's Flag message?

3 September 2015
Media Training 101 says that before you front the media on any issue, you organise a message that you want to get across. Labour appears to have failed dismally on this when it comes to the Flag debate. In last year’s election campaign, Labour Leader Andrew Little said the time was right for a vote on the flag. That’s fairly clear. But then as public opposition to the referendum grew, the message appeared to change. Or did it? Little has talked...

What makes Jacinda Ardern popular?

26 August 2015
After a poll ranked Jacinda Ardern as fourth most preferred Prime Minister, the focus of the news appears to be a comment Graham Lowe made about her looks on the Paul Henry Show. But what’s the reason for her popularity? When answering this question, media skills must be at the top of the list. That’s because TV is the only place the vast majority of people ever see her. I believe it’s her ability to express emotion. Whenever she is making...

Is Mike Hosking objective?

20 August 2015
This week’s discussion about the objectivity of Mike Hosking has failed to recognise the two roles he plays. When he interviews people, he is more of a reporter. But when he gives his editorial views, he is more of a commentator. So what does this mean? Hosking as interviewer As an interviewer, I believe he is totally objective. While he may put the counter view to someone he is interviewing, he always gives them a fair chance to express their point....

How good are Donald Trump's media skills?

13 August 2015
Whether you like him or not, Donald Trump has great media skills. That’s why he’s leading the other Republican candidates in the polls. Personally I give him zero chance of winning the Republican nomination for President, but his media skills are why he’s currently leading. So why are his media skills so effective? I put this down to three Cs. Firstly, he is Clear. So many leaders think they need to use intellectual language to impress audiences. Trump doesn’t. He uses...
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