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Media Training NZ Blog

Timing couldn't be worse for Aaron Smith

6 October 2016
The release of the story about Aaron Smith’s escapades in an airport toilet couldn’t have come at a worse time for the All Black halfback because of the way the media determine what’s news. When an issue becomes topical, any other stories related to it become far more newsworthy than they would have otherwise. I’m not saying the media wouldn’t have picked up on the Aaron Smith incident, but because bad behaviour by professional rugby players has been in the news...

What Trump did well in debate

28 September 2016
While it’s pretty clear that Hilary Clinton won yesterday’s debate, there was one thing that Donald Trump did well and it’s an important consideration that no-one has mentioned. Despite the many negatives, he did have one overriding message that must have got through to voters. That message was that politician had failed America over the last few years and the country needed someone from outside the establishment. For example, at one point he asked why Clinton was only coming up with...

Liam Malone shows value of media skills to his sport

22 September 2016
If anyone has demonstrated how valuable great media skills are to their sport, its paralympian Liam Malone. So often we see athletes and sporting greats give boring media interviews that almost detract from the success they’ve just had. I think lots of sporting organisations even try to keep them out of the media for fear of them saying something wrong. This is a huge lost opportunity for them to promote their sports. Liam Malone has single-handedly proved my point over the...

Auckland candidates could learn from Trump

16 September 2016
Centre-right Auckland mayoral candidates need to learn two important lessons from Donald Trump if they want any chance of beating Phil Goff. The first one is to narrow the message. My advice now would be to focus on one issue in major detail. That would have to be transport or housing. At this late stage, this is the only way to distinguish themselves. People remember very little from political candidates, so the more you tell them, the less they remember. This...

Chiefs damage done on day one

8 September 2016
The reputational damage to the Chiefs was cemented at the outset of the scandal, while the lack of a clear message throughout has compounded the problem. The first and fateful error was the lack of forethought or preparation by the Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman and Gallagher spokesperson (major sponsor) Margaret Comer when they first fronted media. Flexman said: “You have got to remember this is one person's accusation (the stripper) and her standing in the community and culpability is not beyond...

Do political billboards work?

2 September 2016
With the local government elections coming up, you will have seen a mass of political billboards spring up all over the place. They usually consist of a picture of the candidate and a statement or two about them. In my opinion, they are a waste of valuable funding that would be far better used elsewhere. Why? Firstly, the only thing they offer is name recognition and that’s not enough to convince anyone to vote for the candidate. Obviously there is little...

My chat with world leading media trainer, TJ Walker

25 August 2016
TJ Walker is one of the world's leading media trainers. Listen to a podcast I did with TJ about my book and how the news media and media training has changed and differs from country to country. To hear the podcast, click on the headline above. If you want to grow your media skills, subscribe to my news media tips newsletter and get my free White Paper, The 5 Steps to Pain Free Media Interviews, by following this link.

Trump team fail Media Training 101

18 August 2016
You would expect a presidential candidate and team to understand exactly how the news media works, but Trump and his team have shown a serious lack of knowledge this week. In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump’s campaign Chairman Paul Manafort shows his misunderstanding of how a media interview works. The focus of the interview was how Trump has been moving away from his core message of national security, law and order and the economy lately. The response from Manafort...

Media interview tips for Olympic Athletes

9 August 2016
Over the next few weeks, we’ll see some great media interviews with winning athletes. But equally, there will be those that are about as boring as watching grass grow. Journalists can only do so much to get interesting material from their interviewees. It’s up to the athletes to make it interesting. So what should they do? Even if they have a matter of minutes before they speak to a reporter after a race, they need to think of something interesting to...

Maori Party snub of Clark a clever move

4 August 2016
Despite claims that their decision not to back Helen Clark for the UN job was unpatriotic, the Maori Party’s decision was a clever move that reinforced their standing in New Zealand politics. Whether it be a media interview, political campaign, or the entire reason a political party exists, there needs to be a consistent message. The lack of one recently is a major reason why labour languishes in opinion polls. But the Maori Party has always been clear. It stands for...
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