Media Training NZ Blog

What United Airlines and Sonny Bill have in common

12 April 2017
Two stories making headlines over the last few days have one glaring thing in common that business leaders should learn from. It’s the failure of both United Airlines and Sonny Bill to release accurate information about their predicament as quickly as possible. You will have seen the story about security guards dragging a passenger off a United plane after the airline decided they needed seats for other cabin crew. The Sonny Bill issue was his failure to explain why he taped...

My messaging advice to Greens

6 April 2017
The Greens are clearly trying to be seen as more mainstream with the launch of the campaign, “Give Green a go.” It’s clearly designed to show that people from all walks of life vote green, not just a whacky niche group. It’s also about telling voters who the Greens are. It’s not a bad idea, but the party’s success will still come down to what the message is. With their signing of the “Budget Responsibility Rules,” with Labour, this needs some...

Labour should focus on their message, not Hager book

29 March 2017
If the Labour Party have learnt from the lead-up to the last Election, they won’t spend too much time on the Nicky Hager book, but focus on the points they think could sway swinging voters to their side in September. Failure to maintain this focus was a major reason for their heavy loss in 2014. Instead of campaigning on policies that could win votes like housing and health, there was too much emphasis placed on things people didn’t care about. This...

Key valedictory shows why he was popular

23 March 2017
Three of the reasons John Key was such a popular Prime Minister were evident in his valedictory speech yesterday. First His humour and ability to laugh at himself. He mentioned his famous three-way handshake and the uniqueness of his Kiwi accent. Who can forget his speech after the 2011 Rugby World Cup when he referred to the William Web Ellis TWOPY. This is an important media training lesson. Key was a great communicator, but made lots of mistakes. But they made...

Advice for guest of TV3s new show, "The Project"

15 March 2017
Spokespeople with the skills to master media interviews will know they should have message points ready to focus on (while also answering questions). They should also dress up these points in ways that make them interesting to the audience of the reporter or presenter. The ability to maintain this focus is more difficult on The Project because the show has a mix of both news and humour. It can be difficult to maintain your focus when one question has a serious...

Little's media skills will still make the difference

8 March 2017
Many commentators have suggested that Jacinda Adern’s rise to the deputy leadership could help the Labour Party by taking some of the spotlight off Andrew Little’s perceived dryness in the lead-up to the Election and help the Labour/Green block get over the line in September. I disagree. Why? Voters are always focused on two things when they cast their ballot. They are the party leader and the policy. There is some debate as to what ratio is accurate. This also depends...

Eddie Jones gives media training lesson

1 March 2017
England Rugby Coach Eddie Jones gave other coaches a master class in media interview skills at the weekend with his reference to the infamous underarm bowling incident of 1981. Not happy with the tactics used by the Italian rugby team during their Test against England at Twickenham, Jones dressed up his point in a way that he knew would create headlines and get his message across in the best possible way. Most coaches or other spokespeople would have said something like,...

Why English is well ahead of Little

23 February 2017
One major trait voters look for in their leaders is likeability. John Key had this because he seemed like a normal bloke. Obviously a leader needs more than this, but it’s a fundamental requirement for anyone aspiring to win an Election. Both Bill English and Andrew Little have been accused over recent years of being ‘boring’. But since he became PM, English has done wonders for his likeability, while Little has done nothing to improve his popularity. How has English done...

Labour must avoid sideshows and stick to their message

15 February 2017
If Labour are to have any chance at this year’s Election, they need to avoid sideshows and stick to their core message. The party was plagued by sideshows in 2014. This not only made them look unorganised, but it also prevented them getting their message out before the Election. Although I’m still not sure what that message was. You’ll remember some of the sideshows. They included David Cunliffe apologising for everything under the sun, complaints about Mike Hosking moderating an Election...

English and Little make positive image changes

9 February 2017
Prime Minister Bill English and opposition leader Andrew Little have both made positive image changes over the last few months that will help potential voters identify with them. Clearly John Key was the expert at this. How many times did you hear statements like, “He’s the sort of guy you’d be comfortable having a beer with?” That may say something about New Zealand’s drinking culture, but it’s important when it comes to influencing swinging voters. English and Little don’t have that...
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