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.

Shearer learning media training skill of speaking in sound bites

21 April 2012
Labour leader David Shearer is learning the important media training skill of speaking in sound bites. These are the parts of TV and radio news stories where a statement from an interviewee is used verbatim to illustrate a point. They usually last between 8 and 12 seconds. In the print media, they are called direct quotes. Those who take part in media training learn that it is best to dress a point you want to make up in language the media...

Alasdair Thompson verdict highlights media training lesson

13 April 2012
The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) decision not to uphold a complaint by Alasdair Thompson over the infamous "women's problems" interviews reinforces an important media training lesson. Thompson claimed last year that women take more sick leave than men because of period pain. This led to intense media scrutiny, done more so than on TV3. His complaint to the BSA covered a number of areas, but the major one was that the interviews on 3 News and Campbell Live were unbalanced and...

Golden Bay High School offers media training lesson

6 April 2012
Golden Bay High School leaders have shown their media training skills this week by dealing perfectly with an incident of sexting. In a story that appeared in the Nelson Mail and Stuff, a girl approached school authorities after three students had obtained a sexualised image of her and sent it out to other high school students. This could have led to a neagive story about the school. But the response to the reporter's questions by school leaders turned it to their...

Brownlee deserves media training bouquet

31 March 2012
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has shown his media training skills again this week. His handling of the Finland incident was first-class. After responding to remarks by Labour Leader David Shearer that Finland was a country we should be following, Brownlee said Finland was not perfect, having higher inflation, unemployment and murder rates than New Zealand. This led to major criticism from a Finish comedian who poked fun at Brownlee's weight and implied that all New Zealand had going for it...

Nick Smith makes media training mistake

23 March 2012
Nick Smith made a fundamental media training mistake at Wellington airport this week when he took the bait and gave a reporter a confrontational and emotionally charged answer when questioned on whether he would resign. Dr Smith was on his way back to Wellington to resign after the conflict of interest around his letters of support for a friend who was seeking ACC assistance. When confronted with an ambush interview like this, any media training expert would tell the client to...

ACC uses media training skills

17 March 2012
The whole fiasco of ACC leaking personal information of thousands of people to an individual's email address last week may have been a public relations disaster, but from a media training standpoint, they handled the situation well. This is because the messages they communicated were good and CEO Ralph Stewart kept referring back to them. While there was some debate as to how much detail was revealed in the email leak, ACC focused on three key points throughout the media coverage....

Media training tip for Bishop Victoria Matthews

10 March 2012
Christchurch Bishop Victoria Matthews made a fundamental media training error this week when she failed to acknowledge the emotion many Cantabrians feel towards the Cathedral. After the decision was made by the Anglican Church to demolish the Christchurch icon, her response to calls to release the plans that led to that decision was "I don't answer to the public." Whether she meant to or not, her comments appeared to dismiss public sentiment by saying she answered to God and the Anglican...

Media Training advice for NZ Cricket

3 March 2012
NZ Cricket made one major media training mistake when announcing their response to yet another Jesse Ryder drinking incident. Team manager Mike Sandle handled the media well during the announcement, but there was one notable absence from the event. Ryder himself. This is a common media training mistake. Because Ryder was not there to answer questions and give journalists their pound of flesh, the story will stay alive until the man himself comments. This is unfortunate because New Zealand cricket will...

Labour should reconsider media training for Shearer

25 February 2012
Reports that Labour leader David Shearer will not seek external media training advice is a decision that must be reconsidered if he is to reconnect his Party with its traditional support base. Many leaders from all walks of life are unaware how media interviews are unlike any other conversation. Without professional media training, most of these people fail to connect properly with their stakeholders. Shearer will risk that possibility if he fails to grasp the benefits of media training. While he...

Mallard takes media training advice and admits mistake

18 February 2012
Labour MP Trevor Mallard took a few hours but finally used his media training skills by admitting he was wrong to sell his tickets to Wellington's Homegrown Festival on Tade Me for a profit last week. While the practice was not illegal for this event, Mallard himself sponsored anti-scalping legislationa in 2006 to outlaw it for big events like last year's Rugby World Cup. Any media training expert would have told Mallard to admit he got it wrong and take his...
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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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