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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.

Media Training advice for La Leche League

10 February 2012
The pro breast feeding La Leche League is in need of some serious media training advice after their handling of the Piri Weepu bottle feeding episode this week. The league demanded the withdrawal of a Smokefree advertisement where the All Black was featured feeding his baby a bottle of formula. The group is well known for its views that 'the breast is best', but the perception is that they reject the use of formula in all situations. From a media training...

Key shows media training skills at Waitangi

6 February 2012
The ability to remain relaxed in adverse situations is an important media training skill and one John Key used well at Waitangi yesterday in the face of heavy protest. His ability to smile in almost any situation is one reason Key is so popular with voters. From a media training standpoint, this makes his look confident, warm and in control. This is what he did yesterday, even though his speech was drowned out by protesters and he had to leave early....

Marryatt repeats media training mistake

28 January 2012
Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt has repeated a media training error he made before Christmas by giving journalists another great opportunity to keep the story about his controversial pay rise alive. Mr Marryatt was on holiday when the rise was announced. This meant he wasn't available to talk to the media. This gave journalists two cracks at the same story both at the time of the announcement and upon Mr Marryatt's return. From a media training standpoint, the Council would...

Media Training bouquet for Maritime NZ

20 January 2012
Maritime NZ deserve congratulations for how they have handled the Rena disaster from a media training perspective. They were quick off the mark when the ship ran aground and began informing the media immediately about what had happened and what they were doing about it. There was some initial concern about the communication, but that was more because Transport Minister Steven Joyce and Prime Minister John Key kept out of the issue. From a media training point of view, they probably...

Media Training advice for Hot Air Balloon tragedy spokespeople

12 January 2012
One major media training tip for those on the end of media questions over the hot air balloon tragedy is to avoid speculation at all cost. The most common question from journalists is likely to be 'what do you think caused the disaster'? This will confront those investigating the incident and possibly the company involved. The best media training advice is to avoid answering this question at this early stage as any such response would be mere speculation. It could also...

Media Training tip for Tony Marryatt

8 January 2012
The recent announcement of the salary increase for Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt brings up an important media training point. It was clear that Joe Public was never going to be happy with any increase for Mr Marryatt after the earthquakes. From a media training standpoint, that means it was going to be a bad news story for the Council, regardless of how it was communicated. However, the one media training rule for these situations is to announce it quickly...

Media Training tips for the holidays

23 December 2011
If you feel like putting your media training skills to the test, the summer holidays are a good time to do it. Journalists are hunting high and low for story ideas because little is going on. John Key will be in Hawaii, business people will turn off their cell phones and the only obvious news will be about the weather and summer sport. That's why approaching media with ideas is far more likely to work at this time of year. They...

Hansen must embrace media training advice

18 December 2011
New All Blacks coach Steve Hanson must take some media training advice and change his attitude towards the fourth estate. A few years ago he told the media 'you are either with us, or against us.' What he overlooked was that the media are not a public relations company for the Rugby Union. They are conveyors of information, both positive and negative, to a passionate rugby public. Any media training expert would tell Hansen to change this approach immediately. To his...

Whittall media training skills saved Pike River after disaster

10 December 2011
Pike River Coal may be having a difficult time at the Royal Commission, but it was the media training skills of CEO Peter Whittall that kept the company from major criticism in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Media training experts always tell clients they must front up to the media in crisis situations, even though most feel like running a mile. This is exactly what Whittall did. He became the face of the tragedy. He was always available and performed...

Media training tips for David Shearer

4 December 2011
David Shearer may appeal to potential Labour voters because of his freshness, but there are some media training issues he needs to work on. His opponemt, David Cunliffe, is an expert at getting his points across clearly and concisely through the media. He can talk in sound bites. This is a valuable skill and one Shearer needs to learn if he becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Cunliffe has clearly had media training, because he is an expert in media interviews....
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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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