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 David Shearer

21 November 2012
There is one overriding media training tip that David Shearer must take if he is to remain as Leader of the Labour Party. This has nothing to do with what he says, but everything to do with how he says it. It's about his body language. In other words, when he is quoted in the newspaper he has nothing to worry about. But from a media training perspective, his problem is when he is in front of the camera. He needs...

Shearer coup denials highlight media training point

15 November 2012
The recent denials by David Shearer and other Labour MPs about a rumored coup to replace the leader raise an important media training tip. In lots of situations, we advise our media training clients to avoid repeating negative media statements. For example, if a journalist said to me: “How does it feel teaching people how to lie for a living.” The statement is untrue, but if I reply with: “I don’t teach people how to lie for a living,” I’ve just...

Obama uses media training formula during Hurricane

9 November 2012
The formula we teach our media training clients to use in crisis situations was followed to the letter by President Obama when commenting on Hurricane Sandy this week. It was vital Obama got this right, because his performance could have determined the fate of the US election. When preparing to address the journalists in these situations, we recommend that our media training clients produce three key points to focus on. The first must be Regret or a show of empathy for...

Hekia Parata missing one media training skill

2 November 2012
Education Minister Hekia Parata is lacking in one media training area when being interviewed over school closures. It showed up again last night during an interview on Close Up with Mark Sainsbury. She appears fed up with the constant complaints about the policy. She has certainly been thrown a hospital pass with the Education portfolio as a new minister. It’s her failure to empathise with those affected by the changes that is lacking. We always tell our media training clients to...

US debates show importance of body language in media training

25 October 2012
Most people think media training is all about getting messages across to media audiences, but this is only part of the puzzle. This couldn’t be illustrated better than in the recent presidential debates in the US. During the first debate, most people thought President Obama lost. A big part of this was because he had his head down when his challenger Mitt Romney was addressing him. From a media training perspective, this made Obama look defeated and non-presidential. On the other...

Superannuation confusion highlights media training point

20 October 2012
Recent coverage showing that John Key was unaware his Commerce Minister had asked the Retirement Commissioner to look at the superannuation age of entitlement raises an important media training issue. While difficult in this situation because a Prime Minister needs to speak on all portfolio areas, it does show how important it is for issues to be fronted by just one spokesperson. This is a major lesson for other organisations. This includes schools, businesses, not for profits or any other group....

Shearer shows media training progress in Dotcom affair

12 October 2012
Labour claims that a video exists of John Key joking about Kim Dotcom with the GCSB before he supposedly knew about the man may be a total fabrication, but the whole affair has shown the media training progress of David Shearer. The Labour leader still has work to do, but the whole issue has shown that his media training appears to be helping him communicate more clearly and concisely. His long-winded and complex answers to questions are seen less often, so...

School closures highlight media training grey area for politicians

4 October 2012
One of the first things we tell our media training clients is that they are usually better to front up to issues they are being attacked on. Otherwise, their side of the story will never be heard. This brings up an interesting point that has come to light this week when it comes to government ministers. Campbell Live invited Education Minister Hekia Parata onto the show to discuss the many clear mistakes that had emerged from the Ministry of Education figures...

Key uses classic media training technique in Dotcom case

27 September 2012
John Key may have been in the gun this week over the unlawful spying on Kim Dotcom by the GCSB, but he has used a classic media training technique we recommend our clients use when dealing with similar events. From a media training perspective, any preparation for media scrutiny must involve the development of three key points. Expressing regret is often the first one, as it was here. This regret wasn’t directed at the victim as it is in most situations...

Key shows media training skills with school closures

21 September 2012
The government announcement that a number of schools in Christchurch will either close or amalgamate was always going to be unpopular, but John Key has shown his media training skills in his response to the anger. Issues like this are never easy to win for a government, because no matter how justifiable, facts never win over emotion. With 4500 school students leaving Christchurch after the Earthquake, it’s inevitable that schools will have to close. But try telling that to a community...
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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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Email: Pete Burdon
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