Media Training NZ Blog

Who should be the new Green Party co-leader?

25 May 2015
The next male co-leader of the Green Party must be the contender with the best media skills. That’s because if the winner can’t get his points across in attractive 10 second sound bites, the party will struggle. The vote will be taken this weekend. Russel Norman’s ability to do this in media interviews was a major reason the party climbed to around 10 percent in the last two elections. Journalists often went to him for comment because they knew he would...

PRINZ Conference, my book and how media training will change

21 May 2015
I’m at the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Conference in Wellington and just heard former NZ Herald Editor Gavin Ellis present on the future of the news media. It’s an interesting presentation, and touches on some of the points I’m raising in my book, “Media Training for Modern Leaders.” This will be released early next year. Ellis says more people are getting their news from mobile devices, and this trend will continue. He says people will want their news...

Andrew Little improving his sound bites

13 May 2015
Andrew Little is becoming better at getting his points across. He’s doing this by using interesting language that makes these points clearly and briefly. This is exactly want journalists want for their stories. Anyone in a leadership position knows that reporters will only take 10 second snippets of what they say for their edited stories. These clips are known as sound bites. This means the secret to getting your points through media gatekeepers is to make them by using brief and...

Hillary Clinton follows Key in popularity stakes, despite bad publicity

7 May 2015
For the last three months, Hillary Clinton has been the subject of major negative publicity. But instead of dropping in the popularity stakes, she keeps going up. Two issues have been responsible for the bad publicity. These were an email scandal (where she admitted to using her personal email account when Secretary of State) and issues around funding for her foundation. Despite this her approval rating has jumped 9 points in those three months, while another 8 percent think she is...

Ekim Burger rant shows need for crisis communication plan

30 April 2015
The Facebook response from a Wellington Burger business owner to an accusation of food poisoning is exactly why crisis communication plans are so vital these days. It began when a customer sent him a private Facebook message. It began by saying the message was not a complaint. It then said she thought her son had been poisoned by one of his burgers. He then made her message public, and posted an expletive filled update that insulted ‘office jocks’, ‘middle class housewives’...

Key handles Ponytail Gate fallout well

24 April 2015
Responding to an issue like Ponytail Gate can be full of fish hooks for a public figure, but John Key has dealt with it well. He had already apologised to the girl in question before this. Then when the media storm erupted, he admitted he was wrong and had misread the situation. His first response to journalists could have perhaps been a bit more passionate from a body language perspective, but his more recent one was better. His words were: "I'm...

Campbell Live can help Politicians

14 April 2015
If Campbell Live is dropped by TV3, it will be the end of an important media stage for politicians to get their messages through to potential voters. Since the news of the show’s possible demise broke, there has been talk about its possible editorial bias, and even conspiracy theories about why it may end. But what has not be mentioned is that Campbell Live gives politicians from all sides of Parliament the opportunity to talk to their audience unedited. There are...

Media tips for appearing on Paul Henry's breakfast show

9 April 2015
To make the most of an appearance on the new Paul Henry Show, you need to be aware your audience will be split between radio listeners and television watchers. This means you will need to approach your appearance with both audiences in mind. One of the most common traps people fall into during media interviews is that they forget who their audience is. It’s never the person asking the questions. It’s the people watching on the couch at home or listening...

Best and worst media quotes of the Cricket World Cup

31 March 2015
Best and most classy Brendan McCullum sidestepping the issue when being asked about the unsportsmanlike sledging by the Australians in the final. "A send off is a send off. It's not something we are necessarily concerned about. The focus should be on how well Australia played and how much they deserved this victory, rather than minor issues on the way through. I certainly don't want to go too deep into that." New Zealand may not have won the game, but they...

A B deVilliers media skills an example to other sportspeople

25 March 2015
The media skills shown by South African Captain A B deVilliers after last night’s loss should act as a great example to other sportspeople. Firstly, he was clearly devastated by the last over loss, but still acted with grace and sportsmanship. The last thing he would have wanted was talk to media and sit through a lengthy press conference. But that’s exactly what he did. At one stage he was the only South African on the field. His team mates couldn’t...
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