Media Training NZ Blog

My Capital Gains Tax Media Advice

19 February 2019
With the Tax Working Group’s recommendations coming out on Thursday, its vital that players on both sides of the CGT debate know how to get their points across. Whenever a debate like this dominates the news cycle, the winner is always the side that focuses on a few key points and uses the most basic language possible. That’s why political parties always have a few key areas of focus in Election campaigns. It doesn’t mean you totally ignore other points, but...

Government does a 'Tiger Woods' with Sroubek

14 December 2018
The PR handling of the Sroubek issue by the Government has been woeful and reminds me of how Tiger Woods dealt with all the allegations around his infidelity. The term, ‘death by a thousand cuts’ comes to mind, and there’s no indication that publicity about this will end any time soon. It’s pretty obvious that Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway made some fundamental errors when he initially allowed Sroubek to stay. He didn’t read the entire document about it from his officials, while...

Bridges did well with one notable mistake

19 October 2018
It might be a different view from most commentators, but I think Simon Bridges has done well over the whole Jami-Lee Ross saga and has strengthened his leadership. Firstly, just about everyone thought it was a mistake for him to even have an inquiry into the leak. I disagree. He had to find out who it was so that leaks didn’t keep happening. Imagine if this all came out a few weeks before the next election? It was good leadership to...

Bridges makes common speech mistake

30 July 2018
I thought NZ National Party leader Simon Bridges came across pretty well in his address to the party’s annual conference yesterday, but he made one mistake so many leaders make without realising it. He did it twice during the day. What was it? He used negative language. At one point he said: “There’s a perception in politics that we on the right don’t care as much as the left do, but it’s not true.” While that may sound fine, people will...

ACTs new name to get message across

19 June 2018
There have been murmurings that the ACT Party may change its name in the hope of getting more attention and votes at the next Election. That’s a great idea and I have the perfect option. I’d call it “The New National Party” in the same way Jim Anderton used “New labour” in the 1990s. Why change? Firstly, I don’t think many people understand what ACT’s actual message is, let alone what the acronym stands for. But it’s clearly a party of...

Seymour letter offers valuable media lesson

24 May 2018
I’m sure David Seymour is quite happy about the publicity he’s been getting around a letter he wrote warning that social housing in Epsom could bring tenants with ‘Mental Health Issues,” into the suburb. But it brings up an important point about writing anything that might fall into the hands of the media. I often have people show me statements they are about to send to the media on serious issues or allegations. They want me to make any changes I...

New National leader and McDonalds

20 February 2018
There’s been so much debate about who the next leader of the National Party should be and why. Some say experience plus generational change, others say the one who can push Jacinda around the most, while others say a new face is the answer. None of this matters? In my view, none of that is important. That’s because the new leader has to be the one who can bond with swinging voters by showing warmth on camera. End of story. They...

Bill English my Media Communicator of the Year

15 December 2017
Bill English’s greatly improved media skills were a major reason why National won far more votes than any other party in September’s Election and why he is my Media Communicator of the Year. Why was he so much better? In two words, Body Language. I must admit that I had my doubts when he became leader. I always say that your leader needs to be the person with the best media skills and I didn’t think English was that person. He...

Shaun Johnson and online apologies

22 November 2017
You may be aware that Kiwi Rugby League star Shaun Johnson recently apologised on Facebook after comments he made after the NZ loss to Fiji last week implied that fans had got what they wanted. How effective was his apology? Firstly, good on him for apologising. It was the right thing to do and I think it has worked well for him. However, there were two things with it that could have been better and these are things anyone should be...

Don't repeat Winston's big mistake

13 October 2017
It should be Media Training 101, but Winston Peters has fallen into a trap where lots of leaders have been before him and many more will follow. I’m talking about giving the news media timelines or deadlines of when things will happen when you can’t guarantee it. Obviously I’m talking about his guarantee that a Government would be formed by yesterday. Now it could be next week. This is hugely significant for any leader who talks to the media. Why? Apart...
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