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Media Training NZ Blog

Failure to take media training advice has cost Aaron Gilmore

10 May 2013
Last week I said Aaron Gilmore’s behaviour was not a hanging offence, but his failure to take the most basic media training advice has now left him in a hopeless situation. Any media training expert would have advised him to front a press conference the day his behaviour became news, and told the whole truth, followed by a sincere apology. A drive to Hanmer Springs to apologise personally to the barman would have been a good idea also. Some commentators are...

Aaron Gilmore makes media training mistake with apology

2 May 2013
National MP Aaron Gilmore made a media training mistake with his apology after he acted inappropriately at a Hanmer Springs restaurant on Saturday night. He was right to apologise, particularly after a friend of his admitted to leaving a note for a waiter apologising for Gilmore’s conduct on the night. That makes it obvious that the MP was guilty of bad behaviour. From a media training perspective, Gilmore should have thrown his hands in the air and apologised. While he does...

Gareth Hughes breaks cardinal media training rule

26 April 2013
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes has broken one of the most basic media training rules by asking an advisor how he should answer a question during a taped TV interview. This is a perfect example of why you should take nothing for granted in a media interview. He must have assumed that part of the interview would be edited out of the final story. He was wrong. We always tell our media training clients to assume the camera is always on....

Key comments raise important media training consideration

18 April 2013
The one thing our media training clients fear the most is having a reporter appear from nowhere and fire questions at them with a TV camera rolling. It could be on their way to work, an ambush outside their house, or a number of other scenarios. Our media training advice is always to keep calm, tell them you are happy to talk, but are off to a meeting so you can’t talk now. That footage would be too boring to use,...

Key steps into common media training trap

11 April 2013
John Key’s response to a question about the likelihood of New Zealand coming to the aid of South Korea in any potential war with the north saw the PM fall into a common media training trap. When the question was put to him by TV3s Patrick Gower, Key said: "I wouldn't want to speculate, but obviously we have got a long and proud history of coming to the support of South Korea. Taken to the extreme, and without interventions and resolutions...

Key's recent body language highlights vital media training point

4 April 2013
John Key is usually an expert when it comes to dealing with journalists. But his handling of the GCSB issue over recent days has highlighted a media training weakness that is usually one of his major strengths. We tell our media training clients that 93 percent of what people take away from a TV interview is the body language and tone of voice, not the words spoken. This comes from research conducted a few decades ago. I believe one of the...

School Closure story highlights media training point

28 March 2013
An item on Campbell Live earlier this week bought up a media training tip that can be valuable when the focus of a story is clearly going to be against you. The story focused on Salisbury School for Intellectually Disabled Girls in Nelson. The High Court had earlier ruled that the Ministry of Education plan to close the school was illegal. The story angle was that the Ministry was effectively “closing the school in disguise”. I don’t wish to take sides...

Bethlehem College saga highlights important media training point

22 March 2013
Following the Bethlehem College developments from a media training perspective over the last few months, I can’t help by liken it to the Tiger Woods saga. By doing this, I in no way link the issues on a moral or seriousness basis. The media training link is that in both situations, those involved let the stories drag on and on by not releasing the full facts from day one. If Woods had fronted up as soon as his infidelity became public...

Solid Energy uses clever media training tactic

15 March 2013
While Solid Energy should have fronted up to media interviews to defend itself against major criticism over the last few weeks, it has used a clever media training tactic during and around the appearance of former CEO Don Elder at this week’s Select Committee. We always tell our media training clients to have clear messages, whether for a media interview or any other appearance. But it’s also important to take this a step further and dress these points up in language...

Tree Adventures death highlights important media training point

7 March 2013
The unfortunate death at Tree Adventures earlier this week brings up an important media training consideration. When the news broke and journalists were all searching for sources, they could not get to speak to anyone from the company. Understandably, the New Zealand-based director was devastated, and was probably busy with investigators. But from a media training perspective, it meant that journalists had to go hunting for other sources. This was when they found witnesses who said safety was slack and the...
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