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Media Training NZ Blog

Countdown makes crisis communication mistakes

13 February 2014
Its failure to front up on TV in the first few hours after the claims made against it by Shane Jones under parliamentary privilege yesterday could hurt Progressive Enterprises. This situation is the type of worst nightmare our media training and crisis communication clients describe when we ask them their reason for attending our courses. Progressive (owners of Countdown) have done a number of things correctly when it comes to crisis communication. They got a statement out reasonably quickly. Their spokesperson...

Media skills of new leader vital for Act hopes

7 February 2014
The media skills of new Act leader Jamie Whyte will largely determine how well his party does at this year’s General Election. Although Act is likely to win Epson with help from National, the hopes of getting another MP or two over the line will be determined by how much positive media attention Whyte gets around the country. This is where his media training skills will be vital. If he learns how to speak in sound bites, like John Key and...

Lorde and the airport media scrum

31 January 2014
Lorde was not the first person to be surprised by the media scrum she encountered at Auckland Airport this week. And she will not be the last. When people are thrust into the media spotlight, the demands from journalists and their editors can be irritating to say the least. But these days, it’s a fact of life that someone who has achieved such an amazing feat on the world stage will attract intense media interest. And remember that’s only because the...

Key uses classic media training skills to get points across

24 January 2014
When giving media interviews, you should have up to three basic points you want the subsequent story to include. Remember that only snippets of what you say will make it into the final story. The best way to attract the journalist to your points is to mention them in different ways throughout the interview and dress them up with interesting language. This is an important part of our media training workshops. Prime Minister John Key is an expert at this. Yesterday...

Fonterra learns important media training lesson with cream recall

15 January 2014
It may have come only a few months after last year’s contamination scare, but this week’s cream recall shows that Fonterra has learnt some important media training lessons. Firstly, it was announced and dealt with immediately. This meant no-one could accuse the company of wasting time or not being transparent. These were big complaints last year. The company should also be congratulated for apologising at the outset. This is important and is something that is often overlooked. In situations like this,...

Was advice for doctors to avoid the media the right call?

9 January 2014
Advice this week from the Medical Protection Society (MPS) for doctors to divert all media calls to the society comes with its risks. MPS has made the call because “media scrutiny of you and your practice of medicine could put your personal and professional reputation at risk.” I understand their reasoning. Doctors who are unaware of how a conversation with a journalist is different from any other type of conversation could get into trouble. They could be taken out of context,...

Big media training lessons of 2013

1 January 2014
While there were lots of big media issues in 2013, four stood out that offer valuable media training lessons for anyone who will, or may, find themselves in the news during 2014. 1 If you make a mistake, apologise completely and immediately. Aaron Gilmore found this out the hard way. He first offered a semi-apology for abusing a barman in Hanmer Springs and then went to ground. By the time it came to the full apology, he had already lost the...

Can media get hold of you over summer?

23 December 2013
Although phone calls from journalists may be the last thing on you mind at the moment, it’s important they are able to get hold of you over the ‘silly season’. There are two important reasons for this. Firstly, if they are working on a story that could portray you or your business in a bad light, you want to be available. That’s because if you are not there to balance up the story, or correct false assumptions, you will be in...

Media communicator of the year goes to EQC Boss Ian Simpson

18 December 2013
He’s been under intense pressure all year, but EQC boss Ian Simpson has done a great job under the media spotlight. There are few tougher environments than multiple interviews with John Campbell. This is particularly so knowing that Campbell Live had received thousands of complaints from disgruntled homeowners. The first skill Mr Simpson showed was his ability to genuinely empathise with the earthquake victims. He always came across as sensitive and sincere. Some spokespeople find this difficult. Where victims are involved,...

Obama speech shows the camera is always rolling

13 December 2013
The criticism levelled at Barack Obama for joining the Danish PM in smiling for a self-taken photograph overshadowed the US President’s excellent speech at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.This raises an important media training point. If you are being interviewed by a reporter or presenting to a group where media are present, you are on the record the entire time. If you give a great speech or are totally satisfied with an interview you have given, don’t assume the media are no longer...
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