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Media Training NZ Blog

If you wouldn't say it in a media interview, don't say it on Twitter

23 May 2014
It seems fairly obvious, but anything said in a public forum is fair game for the media to use. That’s why it’s so surprising that Politicians continue to get themselves into trouble on social media. As we tell our media training clients, if you wouldn’t say something in a media interview, why would you do it on twitter? That’s unless you want the publicity. Maybe Trevor Mallard wanted the Speaker to know he thought he was a ‘Mafia Don.’ The latest...

Budget coverage highlights importance of examples

16 May 2014
Anyone who saw the Budget media coverage last night on the main TV networks would have seen how they both talked to real New Zealanders about how the changes would affect them personally. One News spoke to a small business owner about how he would be affected by the Budget, while Three News did the same thing, but they spoke to a pregnant woman. This brings up an important point that anyone preparing for a media interview should bear in mind....

Cunliffe nerves about Campbell Live could be well founded

17 April 2014
Politicians never refuse an opportunity to get good positive media publicity. That is until last week when David Cunliffe turned down Campbell Live twice to appear on its ‘meet the leaders’ spot. It seems even more overwhelming when the Labour leader, floundering in the polls, said people would like him once they got to know him. As a media training specialist, I would ask him: “How will voters get to know you if you refuse gift appearances like this? Here’s my...

Rachel Smalley gaffe highlights media training lesson

3 April 2014
Radio Presenter Rachel Smalley’s comment calling New Zealand women 'heifers' and 'a bunch of lardos' when she thought her microphone had been switched off illustrates an important lesson for anyone being interviewed by the news media. We always tell our media training clients to assume that the microphone is always on. Remember everything is on the record, so don’t relax after you think the ‘official interview’ is over. While this was the presenter who made the mistake, it shows how easy...

Could the media skills of Shane Jones still be Labour's answer?

28 March 2014
I said in this blog before the Labour Party leadership race last year that those voting should pick the candidate that comes across the best on TV. I stand by that statement. I always focus heavily on body language and tone of voice with my media training clients, because this is so important when it comes to likeability and trust in the media. David Cunliffe is an interesting character when in the media. He has good skills. He is a natural...

Malaysian Airlines, crisis communication and media training

21 March 2014
It has been a tough few weeks for Malaysian Airlines, so how effective have they been with their crisis communication? When the flight first went missing, they did a pretty good job. They had briefings about every two hours. That’s important because it means the media will not have to hunt elsewhere for story sources. The first principal of crisis communication should be to take control of the story. That means being the major source of information. To do this, you...

Collins prolongs pain and fuels media fire

14 March 2014
Judith Collins has not only taken a credibility hit from the Oravida issue, but she has kept the story in the media for far longer than was necessary. This blog last week said she had done well with her response to claims of a conflict of interest. She came across relaxed and confident in her media interviews, and used positive language to get her message across that she had done nothing wrong. I stand by that argument with the information we...

Judith Collins shows media skills over Oravida visit

6 March 2014
SIDESWIPE COLUMN: If you have arrived here after reading the NZ Herald Sideswipe column, please bear two things in mind. Firstly, this post was written at the first hint of an issue with Oravida, before most of the allegations against Judith Collins were made (2 months ago). I stand by what I said at the time, but obviously things changed dramatically very quickly. If you look at the blog I wrote immediately after this one with new information that came out,...

Could Colin Craig's defamation action be a cunning publicity stunt?

26 February 2014
While most commentators say Colin Craig should drop any legal proceedings against Russel Norman, could it actually work in his favour? The general view among commentators is that he should harden up, and he should get used to being attacked by political opponents if he wants to be a serious politician. But from a media training perspective, this could be a great opportunity for Craig to get more priceless publicity. The point here is that those who like Craig seem to...

Cunliffe makes critical media mistake

20 February 2014
Labour leader David Cunliffe made a critical media training mistake this week when he tried to downplay his affluence and the value of his house. He tried to create the impression that Prime Minister John Key was out of touch with average New Zealanders because he owned a $10 million house in the leafy suburb of Parnell. This clearly left him open to attack, as he also lives in a wealthy suburb and has an expensive house (although not as expensive)....
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