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.

Covid Media Advice - Spokespeople aren't controlling interviews

9 April 2020
The vast majority of people spoken to by media regarding the Covid-19 crisis are treating their interview as Q&As. In other words, a reporter or presenter asks a question and they answer it. That may seem obvious, but its not the best approach. How should you do it You should certainly answer their questions but then transfer to a point you want to get across. You should have about three of these ready to focus on. They also need to be...

Covid Media Advice - You could be the next news story

7 April 2020
With almost all the news currently focusing on Covid-19, the media are looking for a huge variety of angles to focus their stories on. Whether you are a franchise, small business, corporate, not-for-profit or a school, you could be the next story. While that scares some people, it’s actually a massive opportunity. The profile and reputation-building benefits of media publicity are unmatched anywhere else. However, there are things you need to know about how talking to reporters is quite different from...

Covid Media Advice - Prep for Online Media Interviews

3 April 2020
You may have noticed that since the lockdown in New Zealand, lots of media interviews have been with people sitting in front of their computers at home. This is quite unique for lots many, but will become more common. How is it different? The big difference is in the preparation. Those regularly in the media will be used to people coming to their place of work for these interviews. When that happens, the camera work and sound is all organised by...

Is the Coronavirus a media beat-up?

30 January 2020
This is a question I hear from lots of people and the answer is purely about how different media formats work. Let me explain. If you talk to a print reporter, only parts of what you say will ever make it into the subsequent news story. That’s because news stories are relatively short. What this means is that the reporter will only use the most exciting parts of what you say. Lots of people who don’t understand the media interview process...

2019 shows importance of emotion in media interviews

17 December 2019
Some big events in 2019 have highlighted how vital it is for leaders to express emotion in media interviews where there are victims or perceived victims. This is where many business and political leaders fall over. Who can forget Jacinda Ardern’s performance after the Mosque attacks in March. All she did was show her sympathy to the victims and tell them what she was doing to help. And that’s all she needed to do and all people wanted to hear. Pictures...

Prince Andrew and Media Training 101

22 November 2019
If Prince Andrew prepared for his recent interview with media advisors, he needs to sack them immediately because there were so many things he did wrong. These are common among media spokespeople and have a huge impact when the stakes are so high. Mistake One: Don’t lean back in the chair and cross your legs. It automatically puts you in a defensive position. If you sit up straight with your head closer to the camera than your stomach, you look proactive...

My Capital Gains Tax Media Advice

19 February 2019
With the Tax Working Group’s recommendations coming out on Thursday, its vital that players on both sides of the CGT debate know how to get their points across. Whenever a debate like this dominates the news cycle, the winner is always the side that focuses on a few key points and uses the most basic language possible. That’s why political parties always have a few key areas of focus in Election campaigns. It doesn’t mean you totally ignore other points, but...

Government does a 'Tiger Woods' with Sroubek

14 December 2018
The PR handling of the Sroubek issue by the Government has been woeful and reminds me of how Tiger Woods dealt with all the allegations around his infidelity. The term, ‘death by a thousand cuts’ comes to mind, and there’s no indication that publicity about this will end any time soon. It’s pretty obvious that Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway made some fundamental errors when he initially allowed Sroubek to stay. He didn’t read the entire document about it from his officials, while...

Bridges did well with one notable mistake

19 October 2018
It might be a different view from most commentators, but I think Simon Bridges has done well over the whole Jami-Lee Ross saga and has strengthened his leadership. Firstly, just about everyone thought it was a mistake for him to even have an inquiry into the leak. I disagree. He had to find out who it was so that leaks didn’t keep happening. Imagine if this all came out a few weeks before the next election? It was good leadership to...

Bridges makes common speech mistake

30 July 2018
I thought NZ National Party leader Simon Bridges came across pretty well in his address to the party’s annual conference yesterday, but he made one mistake so many leaders make without realising it. He did it twice during the day. What was it? He used negative language. At one point he said: “There’s a perception in politics that we on the right don’t care as much as the left do, but it’s not true.” While that may sound fine, people will...
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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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