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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.

Key uses classic media training skills to get points across

24 January 2014
When giving media interviews, you should have up to three basic points you want the subsequent story to include. Remember that only snippets of what you say will make it into the final story. The best way to attract the journalist to your points is to mention them in different ways throughout the interview and dress them up with interesting language. This is an important part of our media training workshops. Prime Minister John Key is an expert at this. Yesterday...

Fonterra learns important media training lesson with cream recall

15 January 2014
It may have come only a few months after last year’s contamination scare, but this week’s cream recall shows that Fonterra has learnt some important media training lessons. Firstly, it was announced and dealt with immediately. This meant no-one could accuse the company of wasting time or not being transparent. These were big complaints last year. The company should also be congratulated for apologising at the outset. This is important and is something that is often overlooked. In situations like this,...

Was advice for doctors to avoid the media the right call?

9 January 2014
Advice this week from the Medical Protection Society (MPS) for doctors to divert all media calls to the society comes with its risks. MPS has made the call because “media scrutiny of you and your practice of medicine could put your personal and professional reputation at risk.” I understand their reasoning. Doctors who are unaware of how a conversation with a journalist is different from any other type of conversation could get into trouble. They could be taken out of context,...

Big media training lessons of 2013

1 January 2014
While there were lots of big media issues in 2013, four stood out that offer valuable media training lessons for anyone who will, or may, find themselves in the news during 2014. 1 If you make a mistake, apologise completely and immediately. Aaron Gilmore found this out the hard way. He first offered a semi-apology for abusing a barman in Hanmer Springs and then went to ground. By the time it came to the full apology, he had already lost the...

Can media get hold of you over summer?

23 December 2013
Although phone calls from journalists may be the last thing on you mind at the moment, it’s important they are able to get hold of you over the ‘silly season’. There are two important reasons for this. Firstly, if they are working on a story that could portray you or your business in a bad light, you want to be available. That’s because if you are not there to balance up the story, or correct false assumptions, you will be in...

Media communicator of the year goes to EQC Boss Ian Simpson

18 December 2013
He’s been under intense pressure all year, but EQC boss Ian Simpson has done a great job under the media spotlight. There are few tougher environments than multiple interviews with John Campbell. This is particularly so knowing that Campbell Live had received thousands of complaints from disgruntled homeowners. The first skill Mr Simpson showed was his ability to genuinely empathise with the earthquake victims. He always came across as sensitive and sincere. Some spokespeople find this difficult. Where victims are involved,...

Obama speech shows the camera is always rolling

13 December 2013
The criticism levelled at Barack Obama for joining the Danish PM in smiling for a self-taken photograph overshadowed the US President’s excellent speech at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.This raises an important media training point. If you are being interviewed by a reporter or presenting to a group where media are present, you are on the record the entire time. If you give a great speech or are totally satisfied with an interview you have given, don’t assume the media are no longer...

Forestry group should be congratulated for All Blacks analogy

5 December 2013
Earlier this week, Hancock Forestry Management was criticised for using an All Blacks analogy when discussing the recent spate of deaths in the industry. I congratulate them. Use of analogies is something we encourage in both our media training and presentation training workshops. It helps people remember the point being made. The issue came to media attention when a meeting of 90 forest contractors was told that the All Blacks perfect season this year was taken one game at a time....

Craig needs a consistent message for media interviews

28 November 2013
Conservative Leader Colin Craig may be in the news regularly over recent months, but his lack of a consistent message and ability to get it through is getting him into trouble. We always tell our media training clients that they need a strong three-point media message ready whenever they face the media. This is not to say they don’t answer media questions, but it’s something they keep referring back to. Not only does this let people know what they stand for,...

Asset Sales issue highlights important media training lesson

21 November 2013
The term ‘Asset Sales’ has been used by opposition political parties and the media ever since the government proposed selling a minority shareholding in a few SOEs before the last Election. But the current government has not sold a single asset, or even suggested doing so. It still owns the SOEs. It has just sold some shares in them. Therefore, to say they are selling assets is totally incorrect. This leads me to an important media training lesson.  If a journalist...
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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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