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.

Key comment taken out of context

11 November 2015
The comment John Key made in Parliament yesterday about rapists and child molesters has been taken out of context to make it sound worse than it was. This post is not written to debate the rights or wrongs of the comment, but to point out what it actually meant in context. I was in the public gallery at the time. The Prime Minister was asked what the Government was doing for the detainees. His response what that the best support was...

Labour falling into Colin Craig message trap

5 November 2015
Labour have a great opportunity this weekend to launch a fresh party message and policies to back that up. But instead it appears they are going to fall into what I call ‘the Colin Craig trap.’ Let me explain. When media are either interviewing you or covering your conference, they will produce interesting stories. That’s their job. They’d get fired if they didn’t. So when Colin Craig responds to the question, “do you think chemtrails are a government conspiracy,” with, “I...

David Seymour's media nous

29 October 2015
It’s rare for political parties with one MP to get much media attention. They get very few opportunities in Parliamentary Question Time, and few resources and time to devote to it. However, Act’s David Seymour has received his fair share over recent weeks. While media attention is par for the course for government’s and major oppositions, smaller parties need extra effort to stay on the media stage. It’s vital they remain in the minds of potential voters, otherwise many will not...

John Key and rugby analogies

22 October 2015
It’s well known that John Key is a natural when it comes to media interviews. He comes across as natural and in control. But what the novice may not realise is his ability to get his points through media gatekeepers and into news stories. Unless interviews are live, reporters will only take little snippets from interviews and place them in the final story. This is the same for TV, radio and print media. John Key is well aware of this so...

Clinton's body language wins debate

15 October 2015
Hilary Clinton was the clear winner in the first Democratic Debate last night. Most of the post debate discussion has been about what the five candidates said, but l declare here the winner because of her body language. This is something that’s often overlooked in political debates, but it’s just as important, if not more so, than what’s said. Those who appear more likeable and natural have a huge advantage when it comes to voters casting their ballots. That’s why John...

Labour's risky TPP message

6 October 2015
Labour need to be absolutely clear with their message on the TPP if they want to avoid alienating potential voters. They risk falling into the same trap they did on the flag debate. The current message appears to be that the party is for free trade, but has five bottom lines to satisfy before supporting the agreement. Is Labour seriously saying it may not support an agreement that cuts 93 percent of our tariffs with the other 11 countries? That appears...

Best World Cup spokesperson revealed

30 September 2015
Japan coach Eddie Jones stands head and shoulders above every other coach when it comes to post-match press conference performances at the Rugby World Cup. He expresses himself well by gesturing with his hands, while he makes his points using interesting language. For example, he used a great analogy when he was asked what his team’s chances were of making the quarter-finals after Japan lost to Scotland. He said: “Hopefully the game between South Africa and Samoa at the weekend will...

Key deals well with Cameron story

25 September 2015
John Key could have damaged his credibility if he got drawn into the David Cameron story this week. But his decision to distance himself from it may have even grown his popularity with some voters. When asked about his views on Cameron’s university escapades, Key said he had nothing to say about it. In almost all situations, Key is cooperative with the media. But he was right to stay away from this one. It’s got nothing to do with his role...

Turnbull praises Key for good reason

17 September 2015
Malcolm Turnbull made a good point when he praised John Key for his ability to explain complex issues and make a case for them. This has always been a tough job for political leaders. It’s becoming even more difficult as the average length of a sound bite is now around 7 seconds, down from 15 a few years ago. Even live broadcast interviews give leaders little time to get their points across. So how does Key do this? When he knows...

Schools discover power of media publicity. Have you?

9 September 2015
Most leaders see the news media as a threat, but two schools have recently illustrated why attracting media attention can be a powerful tool in any marketing arsenal. Tokirima School spent most of this year trying to find a Principal, but couldn’t get anyone to apply. Then a story appeared about their search in the Waikato Times. This led to 28 applications from contenders in Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. This isn’t unusual, but very few organisations ever consider...
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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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