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.

Media training advice for Labour MP who went 'off the record'

28 June 2013
A Labour MP who went ‘off the record’ and told a TV3 reporter that David Shearer would lose the support of his Caucus if his party’s poll ratings don’t soon improve could do with some media training advice. Our media training clients often ask us about when you should go ‘off the record’. Our advice is generally to avoid doing so. That’s the clearest answer and easiest to follow. This is partly because there are many definitions of what ‘off the...

John Key's media training skills force Greens back down

20 June 2013
The Green Party’s policy back down on printing money to help the New Zealand economy appears to have happened because of an important media training technique used by Prime Minister John Key. The best way to get a point across is by using it again and again until it registers with people. We tell our media training clients to focus on a few key points in their media interviews so that those views are the ones used in news stories. If...

No Media Training advice can help Peter Dunne

14 June 2013
The only advice a media training specialist could give Peter Dunne to re-establish his reputation would be to tell all and apologise for whatever he needs to apologise for. But because he will not do that, there is little hope of him ever regaining his reputation as ‘Mr Common Sense’ or ‘Mr Sensible.’ Clearly whatever he is hiding is worth more than his reputation. Is he guilty of the leak but won’t admit it for fear of criminal charges, or is...

Steven Joyce shows media training skills with Novopay report

6 June 2013
Novopay Minister Steven Joyce showed his media training knowledge this week by fronting all media outlets after a report into Novopay was released. This is something all business leaders, school leaders and other politicians should take note of. The report was clearly going to be critical of government officials and ministers as to why and how the Novopay system was implemented. From a media training perspective, for that reason alone it was vital for the government and the National Party in...

Hekia Parata takes media training advice

1 June 2013
Hekia Parata came across better this week when announcing the closure of Christchurch schools because she finally took some good media training advice and showed empathy for those affected. This is something the Education Minister has failed to do often enough when she has made tough decisions that affect people. We tell our media training clients that empathy must always be a key point used when discussing any issue where there is a victim or group of people that are disappointed...

EQC Boss shows media training skills

23 May 2013
While EQC has been under intense scrutiny over recent months, CEO Ian Simpson has shown some excellent media training skills. There are few tougher environments than an interview with John Campbell, knowing that his show has received literally thousands of complaints from disgruntled homeowners. But from a media training perspective, Mr Simpson has weathered the storm well. When asked about the complaints, he always empathises strongly with those who have been affected. He comes across as sensitive and sincere. This is...

Media Training advice for anti-Charter Schools campaigners

16 May 2013
Campaigners against Charter Schools are making a critical media training mistake by focusing on a huge range of arguments rather than concentrating on a few major ones. One thing any reputable media training consultant would emphasise is the importance of narrowing your argument down to your top three messages in preparation for media interviews. This is not only for individual interviews, but on-going campaigns. When it comes to Charter Schools, everyone against them should be focusing on the same three points....

Failure to take media training advice has cost Aaron Gilmore

10 May 2013
Last week I said Aaron Gilmore’s behaviour was not a hanging offence, but his failure to take the most basic media training advice has now left him in a hopeless situation. Any media training expert would have advised him to front a press conference the day his behaviour became news, and told the whole truth, followed by a sincere apology. A drive to Hanmer Springs to apologise personally to the barman would have been a good idea also. Some commentators are...

Aaron Gilmore makes media training mistake with apology

2 May 2013
National MP Aaron Gilmore made a media training mistake with his apology after he acted inappropriately at a Hanmer Springs restaurant on Saturday night. He was right to apologise, particularly after a friend of his admitted to leaving a note for a waiter apologising for Gilmore’s conduct on the night. That makes it obvious that the MP was guilty of bad behaviour. From a media training perspective, Gilmore should have thrown his hands in the air and apologised. While he does...

Gareth Hughes breaks cardinal media training rule

26 April 2013
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes has broken one of the most basic media training rules by asking an advisor how he should answer a question during a taped TV interview. This is a perfect example of why you should take nothing for granted in a media interview. He must have assumed that part of the interview would be edited out of the final story. He was wrong. We always tell our media training clients to assume the camera is always on....
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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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