Media Training NZ Blog

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...

Trump's biggest test still ahead

27 July 2016
He may be the master of the sound bite and know exactly how to attract the attention of the news media, but soon Donald Trump will need more than that. In my media training sessions, two key areas are the importance of having your own message and knowing how to answer difficult questions. Trump has a pretty clear message. The overall message of “We’ll make America great again” is pretty abstract, but he does back it up with some fairly concrete...

The real problem with Melania Trump's speech

20 July 2016
The focus of publicity around Melania Trump’s speech has been all about possible plagiarism, but I saw another major problem with it that’s just as serious. This was a great opportunity for her to tell us about Donald Trump ‘the man’. Many see him as a ruthless businessman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. They see him as harsh and self-centred. The message in Melania’s speech should have been to challenge this perception. She did touch on...

Helen Clark aces debate

14 July 2016
Helen Clark had clearly prepared well for yesterday’s UN Secretary General debate. She had a clear message and was ready for every question asked of her. This is why, in my opinion, she was the best of all 10 participants. What was her message? She consistently focused on two areas. Her first was the need for the UN to improve in the area of peace and security. This would be her most pressing issue if she gets the job. Clark referred...

Labour must narrow its message

8 July 2016
One of the big mistakes Labour made at the last Election was to focus on too many issues. When any campaign tries to cover more than a few core things, people remember none of them. Labour also need an over-riding theme that the key points all address. Lately, the party seems to be improving its messaging strategy, but the focus is still too broad. Their over-riding message seems to be about ‘backing the Kiwi Dream’. That’s ok, but a bit abstract....
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