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.

How MediaWorks changes affect spokespeople

22 January 2016
The integration of MediaWorks into a single news hub has implications for media spokespeople that are becoming more prominent in the digital age. Because the service will be operating 24/7 and include the most up-to-date and breaking news, the need for speed among relevant spokespeople will become even more vital when media scrutiny comes your way. What this means is that reporters will be under pressure to get stories out as quickly as possible, meaning they won’t wait too long for...

Media tip for 2016 - Be ready for media firestorm

12 January 2016
So many of my clients come to me after a bad experience with the media. This is either a media interview that didn’t go as they hoped, or some bad publicity they received after a negative event. I so often hear: “I wish I had done this training before, then I would have dealt with the incident so much better.” Most leaders believe they will never need to deal with media scrutiny, that’s always going to be someone else. This remains...

Gayle must apologise genuinely

6 January 2016
Sporting stars have a huge opportunity during their playing days to profit from endorsements and set themselves up for life after they hang up their boots. Most don’t take advantage of this, while some lose the chance by doing something stupid that limits their appeal among potential employers or sponsors. Chris Gayle needs to apologise genuinely to the sports reporter he embarrassed on live television a few nights ago to avoid risking his future opportunities. His best approach would have been...

Post-match interview tips for sportspeople

30 December 2015
The post-match interview can be a stressful time for elite sportspeople, particularly those who have never had any form of media training. The best way to master this is practice, but there are a few mistakes I see regularly that can easily be fixed. The first one is the assumption that this form of interview is strictly a Q and A with the reporter. You are best to answer questions, but only if you are comfortable doing so. In 99 percent...

James Shaw media communicator of 2015

22 December 2015
My 2015 media award goes to James Shaw My media communicator of the year award goes to Greens co-leader James Shaw. He gets the award for the most consistent message and one I believe his whole party should follow. His entire focus is Environmental. He never comments on social issues. Admittedly, his spokesperson responsibilities as a Green MP are in this area, but as co-leader he has the ability to comment on any number of issues. Metiria Turei does this, but...

Security message wins US debate

17 December 2015
The big issue in yesterday’s debate in the race to become the Republican nominee for President was security. Most of the candidates clearly see this as the defining issue in who will win the race and subsequently the presidency. Donald Trump has focused on this for some time, culminating in his plan to ban Muslims entering Amercia. Yesterday most other candidates had a security focus, sometimes accusing their competitors of being weak on the issue. For example, Ted Cruz accused Marco...

Food recalls and reputation damage

11 December 2015
Time will tell how damaging the three food recalls in the last two weeks will be to those involved, but it does highlight the need for any company to be ready for bad news. First it was frozen berries, then smoked ham and now suspected under-cookedsmoked chicken. The responses from the companies at the forefront have been mixed. Some important lessons can be learnt from these incidents. Firstly, it’s important to be prepared for them. It’s always a possibility, no matter...

Police and Heather du Plessis-Allan

4 December 2015
There’s an old Mark Twain quote that says, “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel”. This is relevant in Heather du Plessis-Allan’s gun saga with Police. The saying basically says ‘don’t pick a fight with the media because you’ll lose’. I must qualify this. I’m not saying Police shouldn’t investigate a case involving the media. But what I am saying is that if they do, they must be ready to respond immediately and defend their position....

Taylor Swift's media mistake

26 November 2015
Taylor Swift’s media mistake The failure of Taylor Swift to front up and acknowledge that too many vehicles were on Bethells Beach on Monday for her photo shoot has guaranteed that all media coverage around the issue is negative. Her crew were permitted to have two vehicles on the beach, but arrived in 12. The restriction is in place to protect the endangered dotterel birds that live on the beach. The issue has blown up on social media and that anger...

Jonah's special media skills

18 November 2015
Jonah Loma was a great example to leading sportspeople about how to express themselves through the media. He was a bit raw when he first played for the All Blacks, but soon developed into an expert in front of the camera. What was his secret? He was always himself. People didn’t just like him for his rugby ability, but how he wore his heart on his sleeve. He let us into his life. He shared his feelings with us. He didn’t...
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My Latest Blog Posts

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

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