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.

Advice for guest of TV3s new show, "The Project"

15 March 2017
Spokespeople with the skills to master media interviews will know they should have message points ready to focus on (while also answering questions). They should also dress up these points in ways that make them interesting to the audience of the reporter or presenter. The ability to maintain this focus is more difficult on The Project because the show has a mix of both news and humour. It can be difficult to maintain your focus when one question has a serious...

Little's media skills will still make the difference

8 March 2017
Many commentators have suggested that Jacinda Adern’s rise to the deputy leadership could help the Labour Party by taking some of the spotlight off Andrew Little’s perceived dryness in the lead-up to the Election and help the Labour/Green block get over the line in September. I disagree. Why? Voters are always focused on two things when they cast their ballot. They are the party leader and the policy. There is some debate as to what ratio is accurate. This also depends...

Eddie Jones gives media training lesson

1 March 2017
England Rugby Coach Eddie Jones gave other coaches a master class in media interview skills at the weekend with his reference to the infamous underarm bowling incident of 1981. Not happy with the tactics used by the Italian rugby team during their Test against England at Twickenham, Jones dressed up his point in a way that he knew would create headlines and get his message across in the best possible way. Most coaches or other spokespeople would have said something like,...

Why English is well ahead of Little

23 February 2017
One major trait voters look for in their leaders is likeability. John Key had this because he seemed like a normal bloke. Obviously a leader needs more than this, but it’s a fundamental requirement for anyone aspiring to win an Election. Both Bill English and Andrew Little have been accused over recent years of being ‘boring’. But since he became PM, English has done wonders for his likeability, while Little has done nothing to improve his popularity. How has English done...

Labour must avoid sideshows and stick to their message

15 February 2017
If Labour are to have any chance at this year’s Election, they need to avoid sideshows and stick to their core message. The party was plagued by sideshows in 2014. This not only made them look unorganised, but it also prevented them getting their message out before the Election. Although I’m still not sure what that message was. You’ll remember some of the sideshows. They included David Cunliffe apologising for everything under the sun, complaints about Mike Hosking moderating an Election...

English and Little make positive image changes

9 February 2017
Prime Minister Bill English and opposition leader Andrew Little have both made positive image changes over the last few months that will help potential voters identify with them. Clearly John Key was the expert at this. How many times did you hear statements like, “He’s the sort of guy you’d be comfortable having a beer with?” That may say something about New Zealand’s drinking culture, but it’s important when it comes to influencing swinging voters. English and Little don’t have that...

Federer media skills an example to athletes

31 January 2017
He may be one of the best tennis players to ever grace the court, but it’s the communication skills of Roger Federer that make him one of the game’s most popular characters. He proved this again after his Australian Open victory on Sunday. Fans want to know how their sporting heroes tick and how they feel after historic wins or devastating losses. They want to hear answers that they can’t predict. How many time have you heard a sportsperson say they...

Gareth Morgan learns from Trump

26 January 2017
The only way for minor parties that don’t have a seat in Parliament to become relevant on Election Day is through news media coverage. That’s a tough job, particularly since they don’t have the resources that come with parliamentary representation. But it’s a job that Gareth Morgan seems to understand. It’s not enough for these parties to focus on their policy. That won’t get them much attention, unless it’s radical and they get highly pro-active. The way to do it is...

What English and Little can learn from Obama

19 January 2017
He’s always been known as a great communicator, but there’s one specific thing that Bill English and Andrew Little could both learn from the media skills of Baraka Obama. Whether it’s a media interview, a press conference or a presentation, his body language is a big reason why he is so effective. He always looks as if he wants to be there, showing passion and energy every time. A major part of this is how he expresses himself with his hands....

Why Trump's tweets should concern you

10 January 2017
Donald Trump has put many US business leaders on edge over the last few months with his attack tweets that seem to come from nowhere. Ford and Toyota have both seen their share price drop after tweets from Trump threatening border taxes for cars built offshore and sold in America. The tweets were not even totally accurate. These are just two examples and show just how damaging social media attacks can be on business and other groups. This has been...
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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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