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.

Twitter can help smaller parties get media coverage

9 July 2014
Social media offers smaller parties a huge opportunity to increase their publicity during the coming Election campaign. But how many will take advantage of it? Most would bet the Internet Party, but there’s no reason others can’t also benefit. Obviously parties will grow their own network of followers on twitter, but how can they increase their profile in traditional media through using social? One answer is by understanding what the traditional media look for in their quotes and sound bites. Let’s...

Important media lesson from National Party Conference

1 July 2014
Leaders from all walks of life could learn a valuable lesson from the National Party Conference at the weekend. It is simply the importance of limiting the messages you want to get across and repeating them consistently. One of the key points Ministers clearly wanted to get across was the danger of complacency leading into this year’s Election. They wanted to make sure supporters still go out to vote, even if they thought National would romp home. They continually emphasised that...

What schools can learn from the Pacific Christian School

26 June 2014
It has clearly been a difficult few days for students, staff and parents of Pacific Christian School. While I’m sure it is a great school, there are a few lessons others can learn from this. Mainly is the need for a tailored crisis communication plan. It’s very important for a school to communicate with all of its stakeholders immediately after something like this happens. All that needs to be initially is a short statement on the school website offering condolences to...

Cunliffe falls into media trap

20 June 2014
David Cunliffe made a subtle media mistake when admitting he had written a letter in support of a residency application for a Chinese businessman. When asked, “Did you lie about this,” he answered “I did not lie.” While that may seem a reasonable answer, using those specific words causes more credibility issues when said in a media interview. I’m not telling him to dodge the question, just answer it in a different way. When asked, “Did you lie about this,” he...

Key uses classic analogy to make UN point

11 June 2014
John key showed his media skills this week by using a classic analogy to make sure people understood why he could not divulge how much the government had spent on trying to win a seat on the UN Security Council. We always tell our media training clients that one effective way to get their points across in media interviews is to use analogies. There are two reasons for that. Firstly, they are a great way to make a point if you...

Media advice for campaigning politicians

6 June 2014
When trying to convince people to vote for them, politicians for all sides of Parliament often use language that average New Zealanders don’t understand. Nowhere is this more important than in the media. Journalists sometimes clarify things, but they too can assume that language they understand must be common knowledge. Also, they can’t control what politicians say in live media interviews. We always tell our media training clients to use the most basic language as possible. That way, everyone understands. We...
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Internet Mana media skills could hurt Greens

30 May 2014
The media skills of the Internet Mana Party could have a major impact on the Greens at this year’s election. That’s because the political savvy and media experience of Laila Harre and presumed social media skills of Kim Dotcom’s people could attract left wing votes that would otherwise have gone to the Greens. Firstly, Social Media provides huge opportunities for political campaigns. This is particularly so for targeting young voters. This group has always been a focus of the Greens. But...

If you wouldn't say it in a media interview, don't say it on Twitter

23 May 2014
It seems fairly obvious, but anything said in a public forum is fair game for the media to use. That’s why it’s so surprising that Politicians continue to get themselves into trouble on social media. As we tell our media training clients, if you wouldn’t say something in a media interview, why would you do it on twitter? That’s unless you want the publicity. Maybe Trevor Mallard wanted the Speaker to know he thought he was a ‘Mafia Don.’ The latest...

Budget coverage highlights importance of examples

16 May 2014
Anyone who saw the Budget media coverage last night on the main TV networks would have seen how they both talked to real New Zealanders about how the changes would affect them personally. One News spoke to a small business owner about how he would be affected by the Budget, while Three News did the same thing, but they spoke to a pregnant woman. This brings up an important point that anyone preparing for a media interview should bear in mind....

Cunliffe nerves about Campbell Live could be well founded

17 April 2014
Politicians never refuse an opportunity to get good positive media publicity. That is until last week when David Cunliffe turned down Campbell Live twice to appear on its ‘meet the leaders’ spot. It seems even more overwhelming when the Labour leader, floundering in the polls, said people would like him once they got to know him. As a media training specialist, I would ask him: “How will voters get to know you if you refuse gift appearances like this? Here’s my...
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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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