ACC uses media training skills

17 March 2012
The whole fiasco of ACC leaking personal information of thousands of people to an individual's email address last week may have been a public relations disaster, but from a media training standpoint, they handled the situation well. This is because the messages they communicated were good and CEO Ralph Stewart kept referring back to them. While there was some debate as to how much detail was revealed in the email leak, ACC focused on three key points throughout the media coverage. Any good media training expert would tell clients to develop a media message that focuses on three key points that can be said in about 30 seconds and keep referring back to them. In the ACC case, these appeared to be: • We apologise for this mistake • This is what we are doing about it • We have asked the Privacy Commissioner to launch an inquiry into this In other words, they have used what I call the three Rs. Regret (the apology), Response (what we’re doing about it) and Restitution (We want the Privacy Commissioner to investigate so we can stop this happening again). You may be surprised at my positive take on this. However, I’m looking at it from a media training perspective, not an overall public relations standpoint. What it does show is that media training is vital for damage control, but if something seriously damaging has been done, it’s not a magic bullet.
Filed under Media Training

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Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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