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Pete Burdon

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.

Luxon's tax question problem and possible answer

28 April 2022
An important part of any media interview preparation is identifying the tough questions you might get and organising how to respond. This has been a problem for Christopher Luxon recently when he gets asked why his proposed tax cut changes would drop the 39 cent rate for those earning above $180,000. He gets questions like, “Why should the Prime Minister get an extra $18,000 a year with these changes when people are living in poverty, etc?” He doesn’t appear to have...

Christopher Luxon on the money with 'caring' comment

3 February 2022
Christopher Luxon’s comment that centre-right parties can seem uncaring and only focused on the economy is a breath of fresh air. This is so true, but it’s because their framing is all wrong. Let’s look at minimum wage laws as an example. Centre-right Governments are less inclined to increase minimum wages in tough economic times. They justify this by saying things like, “it’s bad for the economy” or “businesses can’t afford it.” Lots of people interpret this as, “they’re just supporting...

Why Greg Foran is my Media Communicator of the Year

16 December 2021
There are two specific reasons why this year’s honour goes to Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran for his work around Covid-19. Firstly, he proved that fronting up to media interviews is usually the best policy. There were so many Covid-19 stories involving Air NZ and he seemed to agree to appear to talk about every one of them. This is important and something many other CEOs and media spokespeople could learn from. Basically, if an issue affects your organisation, media...

Chris Luxon's Media Interview Skills

1 December 2021
My view is that your best media communicator should be your party leader because the media is the only place where 95 percent of voters will ever see you. I think National have found the right person. It comes down to two things. How well do they come across, and how effective are they at sticking to a clear message? Chris Luxon has shown that he comes across well. He looks genuine, in control and has the ability to show empathy...

National at risk of losing valuable media publicity to ACT

16 April 2021
Political parties rely on media attention to keep themselves and their policies relevant and in front of potential voters. Since MMP was introduced, major parties of opposition can no longer assume that this position entitles them to a particular amount of media publicity. There is a precedent to back this up. Remember when David Shearer was Labour Leader? While he may have been a good leader behind the scenes, his media skills were not the best. That’s why Green Party co-leader...

Why the Queen's Media Statement was Perfect

11 March 2021
Leaders and communication professionals can learn a great deal from the Queen's media statement in response to the Meghan and Harry Interview. Here is the statement below, followed by my comments. “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately....

Why David Seymour is my media communicator of the year

22 December 2020
While many would consider Jacinda Ardern the best media communicator this year, I give the award to David Seymour for one very important reason. He is an expert at getting a point across in 10 seconds and uses colourful language to do it. Let me explain When broadcasting media put stories together for news bulletins, they want short direct verbatim quotes from the spokespeople they interview that last about 10 seconds. In media language, these are called sound bites. This means...

Collins beats Ardern but room for improvement

23 September 2020
It was a clear win to Judith Collins in the first electoral debate last night, but she will need to improve for the next one as Ardern is likely to come back far stronger. Why Collins won A big reason for the win was the use of language. Ardern used too much jargon. For example, she used of the term “double duty” a number of times. This was confusing, particularly since she pronounces the letter “T” like a “D”, meaning it...

Covid Media Advice - Your big chance for media publicity

18 April 2020
If you’re an expert in some field or a local business, this is your chance to launch yourself into the news media. This is priceless when it comes to reputation-building because positive media coverage is seen as something only the leaders of any industry are worthy of and it stands you apart from the competition. Firstly, if you are an expert, there are national magazine and online editors everywhere looking for interesting articles that will interest their readers. As we slowly...

Covid Media Advice - Important media interview advice for Zoom conferences

14 April 2020
Many skills that are vital for media interviews are just as important for Zoom conferences. The first of these is around body language. In the first blog in this Covid series, I focused on setting up your computer and background for maximum benefit for TV interviews and other platforms like Zoom. That’s important, but if your body language isn’t right, it won’t make any difference. Hands There’s some myth that says you shouldn’t move your hands when talking on camera. This...
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My Latest Blog Posts

28 April 2022
Luxon's tax question problem and possible answer
More
3 February 2022
Christopher Luxon on the money with 'caring' comment
More
16 December 2021
Why Greg Foran is my Media Communicator of the Year
More

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