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.

Budget 2017 media advice for politicians

23 May 2017
Budgets are notorious for bringing out the best in financial terms and jargon, despite most audiences not understanding the majority of it. This is something for politicians to be aware of when they speak to media after tomorrow's big event. How many people do you think understand the difference between a Balance of Payments Deficit and a Current Account Deficit? I bet very few. That’s why it’s so important that politicians explain what they mean before they comment on these things...

NZ Politicians can learn from Trump's Twitter strategy

17 May 2017
It’s clear that social media campaigning will have a huge influence over the outcome of September’s General Election. To maximise their success, politicians should learn a few secrets from Donald Trump. What did Trump do so well? He was very careful with the language he used. He didn’t just make points, he made them in ways that were not only understood by potential voters, but remembered. He did this by using the same language that savvy media interview experts use to...

English's 'no comment' on Comey a lesson for spokespeople

10 May 2017
Anyone who has attended one of my media training workshops will know that I usually recommend that people accept interview requests from journalists. But there are exceptions. A media interview is usually an opportunity rather than a threat, even if it’s about a negative issue. That’s assuming the interviewee understands the differences between media interviews and other conversations. How does this relate to Bill English? Yesterday the Prime Minister was asked what he thought about Donald Trump’s sacking of FBI Director...

Willie Jackson, credibility and a missed opportunity

3 May 2017
The whole Willie Jackson saga about his list place has caused two big problems for Labour when it comes to getting valuable media attention in the lead up to September’s Election. Firstly, its another self-inflicted diversion away from a positive news story to a negative one. Labour’s list announcement should have been about the bright new stars who are likely to become MPs later in the year. Remember the news media are always looking for the best angle on a news...

Airline stories show how your crisis can stay in the news

24 April 2017
It’s a problem United Airlines now faces and one that emphasises even more why you need to be ready to respond quickly to media and other stakeholders before issues become crises. What problem? If you are unlucky enough to be the subject of bad press, you may be like many and breath a sigh of relief when it leaves the news cycle. However, what isn’t always as well understood is that it only leaves the news pages until a similar issue...

Media skills more vital than ever for UK politicians

19 April 2017
The media skills of British politicians in the coming campaign will be more important than ever because voter fatigue could play a huge role in the outcome. The last General Election was only in 2015, while last year the news pages were filled with Brexit stories. Now the UK public are subject to a third major vote in only three years. If that’s not political overload, I don’t know what is. What should they do? If the politicians want to be...

What United Airlines and Sonny Bill have in common

12 April 2017
Two stories making headlines over the last few days have one glaring thing in common that business leaders should learn from. It’s the failure of both United Airlines and Sonny Bill to release accurate information about their predicament as quickly as possible. You will have seen the story about security guards dragging a passenger off a United plane after the airline decided they needed seats for other cabin crew. The Sonny Bill issue was his failure to explain why he taped...

My messaging advice to Greens

6 April 2017
The Greens are clearly trying to be seen as more mainstream with the launch of the campaign, “Give Green a go.” It’s clearly designed to show that people from all walks of life vote green, not just a whacky niche group. It’s also about telling voters who the Greens are. It’s not a bad idea, but the party’s success will still come down to what the message is. With their signing of the “Budget Responsibility Rules,” with Labour, this needs some...

Labour should focus on their message, not Hager book

29 March 2017
If the Labour Party have learnt from the lead-up to the last Election, they won’t spend too much time on the Nicky Hager book, but focus on the points they think could sway swinging voters to their side in September. Failure to maintain this focus was a major reason for their heavy loss in 2014. Instead of campaigning on policies that could win votes like housing and health, there was too much emphasis placed on things people didn’t care about. This...

Key valedictory shows why he was popular

23 March 2017
Three of the reasons John Key was such a popular Prime Minister were evident in his valedictory speech yesterday. First His humour and ability to laugh at himself. He mentioned his famous three-way handshake and the uniqueness of his Kiwi accent. Who can forget his speech after the 2011 Rugby World Cup when he referred to the William Web Ellis TWOPY. This is an important media training lesson. Key was a great communicator, but made lots of mistakes. But they made...
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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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