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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.

Norman exit will hand Little more media coverage

5 February 2015
The honeymoon continues for Labour Leader Andrew Little as a major competitor for media attention has now moved aside. During the last two electoral terms, Russel Norman often took the media limelight at the expense of Labour when it came to attacking National Party policy. This is a role usually filled by the leader of the strongest opposition party. Norman pulled this off for two reasons. Firstly, he was better than consecutive Labour Leaders at giving the media the sound bites...

State Of The Nation lesson for leaders

29 January 2015
Most leaders make one fatal mistake when they present to groups of stakeholders, whether they be a public audience in a large hall, media interview or a small group in a boardroom. They try to cover far too many points. This is something John Key, Andrew Little and their advisors understand well. This was evident in both State Of The Nation speeches yesterday. Key focused solely on housing, while Little concentrated on the need to create jobs and the importance of...

My best quote of 2014

23 January 2015
The recent Massey University ‘Quote of 2014 Competition’ showed some interesting results. Obviously voters chose the ones they liked the most, with almost all having an element of humour in them. But does this make them good quotes? That depends. The whole reason for spokespeople using interesting quotes should be to make a point in a way that journalists will use and audiences will remember. If this criteria is used to determine the best quotes of 2014, some of those chosen...

My top media training tip for 2015

14 January 2015
It’s a simple tip but one not many people employ when preparing for media interviews. You must practice your interview on video until you are satisfied. That doesn’t mean a quick run-through with someone firing a few questions at you. It means you should repeat the mock interview until you have passed two tests. The first is that you look confident and relaxed. That’s obviously more for television. But the next test is critical for all media formats, particularly if it’s...

Media interview tips for sportspeople

8 January 2015
At this time of the year the media focus moves away from the boardroom and onto the sports field. That makes it a good time to look at the needs of our elite players when it comes to media interviews. The first tip I would give them is to look at the interviewer when answering questions. Many don’t do this, but it’s important. That’s because you can seem disinterested to the viewer at home if you are not making eye contact...

Why Paula Bennett is my media communicator of 2014

31 December 2014
The reason Paula Bennett is such a good media communicator is her ability to come across as genuine and empathetic. Where she stands out is her ability to accept the emotions and feelings of others, even if she doesn’t agree with their viewpoint. For example, opposition MPs often say there is too much poverty in New Zealand and the minimum wage must rise to turn this around. When interviewed on this, Bennett disagrees that the wage should rise. But the key...

Major media opportunities over the holidays

23 December 2014
Have you ever contacted the media about a story you thought they would be interested in, only to find it was completely ignored? If you have, you are not alone. There could be a number of reasons for this. But the most likely is that the journalist, editor or producer you contacted had other options she thought would interest her audience more than your proposal. In other words, you lost out to the competition. That’s the reality of journalism. But on...

Classic crisis communication by NSW Police

17 December 2014
The crisis communication strategies used by New South Wales Police in the Sydney Siege highlight how vital crisis communication planning is for any organisation. Two specific areas stood out for me. Firstly was the consistent updating of the NSW Police social media sites, particularly Twitter. By my calculations, their first Twitter post warning people to keep away from Martin Place was up within minutes. Then important information was added whenever there was anything new to report. This included one sentence tweets...

Baptist Churches miss big opportunity

11 December 2014
Baptist Churches of New Zealand missed a huge opportunity this week to distance themselves from Pastor Logan Robertson’s comments about gays, and promote themselves at the same time. You will remember Robertson’s derogatory comments earlier this week, suggesting gay people commit suicide. He is Pastor of the Westcity Bible Baptist Church. Robertson is not a member of Baptist Churches of New Zealand, but this was only found out when a few media organisations contacted the group to find out. Only people...

Test yet to come for Andrew Little

3 December 2014
He has done a great job in his first few weeks as Labour Leader, but the success of Andrew Little will depend on how he performs in the media well after his honeymoon is over. A leader couldn’t ask for a more perfect time to take the top job. His party is so unpopular that it can only go up in opinion polls. He has also been handed issues on a plate that any leader could only dream of early in...
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My Latest Blog Posts

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