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.

Russell Norman outburst part of media race against Labour

14 November 2013
Russel Norman’s use of the Philippines disaster to push his political agenda this week may have been directly linked to the media training skills of Labour Leader David Cunliffe. When Cunliffe became Labour Leader, I predicted in this blog that he would take a lot of media publicity away from the Greens. Former leader David Shearer was not good at giving reporters the sound bites they wanted. This meant they often went to Norman for opposition comments instead. My prediction has...

Peter Marshall, Roast Busters and media training

8 November 2013
Police often appear too laid back when discussing sensitive issues. But Commissioner Peter Marshall did well on Campbell Live last night, showing just how important body language is when the stakes are high. The reputation of Police has been put to the test lately. Many believe they have not taken the Roast Busters issue seriously. Others think this is a symptom of a wider systemic problem. What Police may not realise is that the public will be judging their response to the...

Colin Craig, the Conservative Party and media training

1 November 2013
Colin Craig comes across as pretty genuine on TV, but there is one piece of media training advice I would give him to improve his performance. He needs to express himself more with his hands. His voice tends to sound monotone most of the time, and that’s purely because he is not expressing himself with his hands. This is something our media training clients find surprising, because there is still a myth out there that you should not use your hands,...

Coverage of deep sea oil drilling highlights media training skill

25 October 2013
The National Party has failed to get a good news message out through the media about its support of deep sea oil drilling, despite the many benefits it would bring. With issues like this, reporters and presenters can take a particular line that makes it hard to get the alternative viewpoint across. Campbell Live is often guilty of this. But there are ways to get these views out. We always share these with our media training clients. Simon Bridges clearly had...

Media training lesson from Len Brown affair

17 October 2013
The most important media training advice people in a similar position to Len Brown could take is to spill all the beans in one swoop. I'm not saying there is more to come, but if there is, he needs to front up and tell it all now. Without comparing the Auckland Mayor's situation to Tiger Woods, the golfing star failed to front up at all when his infidelity was uncovered. From a media training perspective, all this did was allow new stories...

Media training advice for Simon Bridges

10 October 2013
Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to accept media interview requests to put the Government’s case for opening parts of New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone to deep sea oil exploration. With the necessary media training skills, this should be quite simple, despite the sensitivity of the issue. His failure to appear on Campbell Live on Tuesday was a classic example. Because he didn’t appear, most of the programme was devoted to a few people in Kaikoura concerned about the impact of a potential...

Media training advice for Team New Zealand

3 October 2013
While both Dean Barker and Grant Dalton are good media spokespeople, there is some media training advice they must take if they want Government funding for the next three years. They need a consistent and credible 3-point media message to use when pushing for Government funding. This is vital. It needs to be clear and repeated so the public get in behind them. From a media training perspective, they haven’t done this well. For example, when talking to Campbell Live the...

Russell Coutts media training skills could damage Team NZ

29 September 2013
One reason Team New Zealand won so much public admiration was because of the media training skills of both Dean Barker and Grant Dalton. They are both straight shooters and their body language shows just how committed they are to their team and their country. From a media training perspective, this is vital. Even when they lost, their focus was on congratulating Oracle and apologising to their supporters. There was no interest in pushing for an enquiry into Oracle’s remarkable turn-around,...

Cunliffe media training skills will hurt Greens

19 September 2013
David Cunliffe’s media training skills will see Labour gain far more media coverage than under former leader David Shearer. This will hurt the Greens more than any other party. Political reporters always look for party leaders to offer interesting comments opposing government policy. This is something Shearer was not good at. He had a point to get across, but he never mastered the art of the 10 second sound bite. His predecessor Phil Goff was the same. For that reason, the...

Tony Abbott's media training skills helped him over the line

10 September 2013
Like him or loathe him, Australia’s new Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has some impressive media training skills that helped him win the top job across the Tasman. Few will know, but Abbott is a former journalist. From there he became a Press Secretary in the office of former Liberal Party leader John Hewson. He advised on media issues. This is why his media training skills are so good. He knows what journalists want and he knows how to give it to...
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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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