Media Training NZ Blog

Why Colin Craig isn't getting any traction

1 August 2014
When people first saw Colin Craig, they liked him. He was a political novice, but seemed likeable and honest. That’s probably why he got close to three percent in the last General Election. But when that novelty wears off, and it has, more is needed. He needs a message, something people like that distinguishes him and his party from the rest. National focus on their management of the economy, while Labour traditionally concentrate on getting a fair go for workers. In...

Another side show prevents Labour media message getting out

25 July 2014
It was only a few days ago that Labour leader David Cunliffe said the party had to stop talking about issues that don’t affect New Zealanders, and focus on the key messages of jobs, homes and families. That’s good advice. If the party wants voters to know exactly how to distinguish Labour from others, MPs all need to focus on a narrow range of issues throughout the Election campaign. Just as we tell our media training clients to focus on a...

How well did Countdown respond to the racial profiling incident?

16 July 2014
After a woman was identified over a Countdown store intercom as a “Maori Woman in aisle One” because she was suspected of shoplifting, allegations of racial profiling were put to Countdown Owners, Progressive Enterprises. So how well did they respond? They didn’t do too badly, but it could have been better. Firstly, as we tell our media training clients, if a mistake is made, the best thing to do is apologise immediately. To their credit, this is exactly what Progressive did....

Twitter can help smaller parties get media coverage

9 July 2014
Social media offers smaller parties a huge opportunity to increase their publicity during the coming Election campaign. But how many will take advantage of it? Most would bet the Internet Party, but there’s no reason others can’t also benefit. Obviously parties will grow their own network of followers on twitter, but how can they increase their profile in traditional media through using social? One answer is by understanding what the traditional media look for in their quotes and sound bites. Let’s...

Important media lesson from National Party Conference

1 July 2014
Leaders from all walks of life could learn a valuable lesson from the National Party Conference at the weekend. It is simply the importance of limiting the messages you want to get across and repeating them consistently. One of the key points Ministers clearly wanted to get across was the danger of complacency leading into this year’s Election. They wanted to make sure supporters still go out to vote, even if they thought National would romp home. They continually emphasised that...

What schools can learn from the Pacific Christian School

26 June 2014
It has clearly been a difficult few days for students, staff and parents of Pacific Christian School. While I’m sure it is a great school, there are a few lessons others can learn from this. Mainly is the need for a tailored crisis communication plan. It’s very important for a school to communicate with all of its stakeholders immediately after something like this happens. All that needs to be initially is a short statement on the school website offering condolences to...

Cunliffe falls into media trap

20 June 2014
David Cunliffe made a subtle media mistake when admitting he had written a letter in support of a residency application for a Chinese businessman. When asked, “Did you lie about this,” he answered “I did not lie.” While that may seem a reasonable answer, using those specific words causes more credibility issues when said in a media interview. I’m not telling him to dodge the question, just answer it in a different way. When asked, “Did you lie about this,” he...

Key uses classic analogy to make UN point

11 June 2014
John key showed his media skills this week by using a classic analogy to make sure people understood why he could not divulge how much the government had spent on trying to win a seat on the UN Security Council. We always tell our media training clients that one effective way to get their points across in media interviews is to use analogies. There are two reasons for that. Firstly, they are a great way to make a point if you...

Media advice for campaigning politicians

6 June 2014
When trying to convince people to vote for them, politicians for all sides of Parliament often use language that average New Zealanders don’t understand. Nowhere is this more important than in the media. Journalists sometimes clarify things, but they too can assume that language they understand must be common knowledge. Also, they can’t control what politicians say in live media interviews. We always tell our media training clients to use the most basic language as possible. That way, everyone understands. We...
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Internet Mana media skills could hurt Greens

30 May 2014
The media skills of the Internet Mana Party could have a major impact on the Greens at this year’s election. That’s because the political savvy and media experience of Laila Harre and presumed social media skills of Kim Dotcom’s people could attract left wing votes that would otherwise have gone to the Greens. Firstly, Social Media provides huge opportunities for political campaigns. This is particularly so for targeting young voters. This group has always been a focus of the Greens. But...
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