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 the master of the analogy

18 September 2014
A few weeks ago I discussed how effectively John Key uses personal stories to get his points across. Another way he does this successfully is by using analogies. This was apparent again in last night’s final Leaders Debate. At one stage he was making the point that if people wanted a National-led Government, they should vote for National. He was telling National voters not to support a party like the Conservatives instead. He was concerned some people may do this so...

Body language the Key to John's success

11 September 2014
Body language is usually the deciding factor in leader’s debates, and last night’s was no exception. Both David Cunliffe and John Key were very much ‘on message’. In that sense, you could call the debate a draw. Cunliffe’s big message was the need for fairness, while Key’s focus was on his government’s economic record and the importance that its policies continue. However, where Key was dominant was in the area of body language. As we emphasise to our media training clients,...

Key expert at using personal stories to make points

4 September 2014
One of the best ways to make a point stick with audiences is by telling personal stories. This is particularly important for extended media interviews or live debates when answers can be longer than short sound bites. That’s because people are far more interested in personal stories than abstract points. So if the point can be made by telling a story, it’s far more likely to be heard and remembered. John Key has always been an expert at this. There were...

Key narrowly wins first debate

28 August 2014
Both men had their good moments in the first leaders debate tonight, but I give the victory to Prime Minister John Key by a thin margin. Key clearly had two messages he planned to get across. The first was to portray National as strong economic managers. He used figures effectively to back up this claim. The other message was the need for people to take the Green Party economic policy into account when considering what Labour had to offer. One of...

What should National do about media leaks?

21 August 2014
The drip-feeding of leaked material to the media after the Nicky Hager book was launched is obviously of concern to the National Party. So what should they do? That depends. If there is a smoking gun somewhere, the National Party person or people involved must be aware of it. I’m certainly not saying there is something more explosive to come out. There may well not be. But if there is and they know about it, there is only one thing to...

What messages should parties adopt after Nicky Hager book?

15 August 2014
All political parties must think carefully how they respond to the Hager allegations over the next few weeks. They will have decided on their election campaign messages well before this issue was raised. But now it is the focus of media attention, how should parties respond? Should they ignore it in favour of their carefully selected campaign messages, or should opposition parties jump in with both feet? In my view, that depends. Clearly National should maintain its denial of any conspiracy....

ACT on the right track to maximise votes

8 August 2014
ACT may have been quiet since Jamie Whyte became leader, but the party now appears to be doing the right things in its push to get more than one MP into Parliament after September 20. To be relevant, small parties need to get their fair share of publicity. In other words, potential voters need to have you on their radar for you to have any chance of getting their support. Jamie Whyte’s recent statements about “one law for all” has done...

Why Colin Craig isn't getting any traction

1 August 2014
When people first saw Colin Craig, they liked him. He was a political novice, but seemed likeable and honest. That’s probably why he got close to three percent in the last General Election. But when that novelty wears off, and it has, more is needed. He needs a message, something people like that distinguishes him and his party from the rest. National focus on their management of the economy, while Labour traditionally concentrate on getting a fair go for workers. In...

Another side show prevents Labour media message getting out

25 July 2014
It was only a few days ago that Labour leader David Cunliffe said the party had to stop talking about issues that don’t affect New Zealanders, and focus on the key messages of jobs, homes and families. That’s good advice. If the party wants voters to know exactly how to distinguish Labour from others, MPs all need to focus on a narrow range of issues throughout the Election campaign. Just as we tell our media training clients to focus on a...

How well did Countdown respond to the racial profiling incident?

16 July 2014
After a woman was identified over a Countdown store intercom as a “Maori Woman in aisle One” because she was suspected of shoplifting, allegations of racial profiling were put to Countdown Owners, Progressive Enterprises. So how well did they respond? They didn’t do too badly, but it could have been better. Firstly, as we tell our media training clients, if a mistake is made, the best thing to do is apologise immediately. To their credit, this is exactly what Progressive did....
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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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