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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.

Communication lessons from Dreamworld

28 October 2016
The tragedy at Dreamworld this week is obviously devastating for the families, and to a lesser extent, others at the heart of the issue. But one certain thing about it has been the sub-standard communication response. Many lessons can be learnt. This blog post will look at three of them. Speed of response In the age of social media, companies at the centre of crises need to communicate almost immediately. The only way to do this is to have statements ready...

Hillary Clinton's unique media strategy

17 October 2016
I generally encourage my clients to welcome media opportunities, even when reporters want to discuss negative issues. But Hillary Clinton is a great example of when it’s best to stay out of the headlines. Why? She understands something her rival Donald Trump doesn’t. That’s the fact that media will only be able to cover a limited number of issues at a time and people will only remember a few. So with Donald Trump basically hammering another nail into his presidential campaign...

Trump's big mistake

11 October 2016
He clearly performed better in the second debate than the first, but Donald Trump made one big mistake that hasn’t received much attention. I’m referring to his apology for the comments he made about women on the tape that emerged from 2005. He did apologise, but it wasn’t absolute. He said he was sorry for the ‘locker room talk’, but Bill Clinton was much worse because he took it a step further and actually sexually abused women. While that might seem...

Timing couldn't be worse for Aaron Smith

6 October 2016
The release of the story about Aaron Smith’s escapades in an airport toilet couldn’t have come at a worse time for the All Black halfback because of the way the media determine what’s news. When an issue becomes topical, any other stories related to it become far more newsworthy than they would have otherwise. I’m not saying the media wouldn’t have picked up on the Aaron Smith incident, but because bad behaviour by professional rugby players has been in the news...

What Trump did well in debate

28 September 2016
While it’s pretty clear that Hilary Clinton won yesterday’s debate, there was one thing that Donald Trump did well and it’s an important consideration that no-one has mentioned. Despite the many negatives, he did have one overriding message that must have got through to voters. That message was that politician had failed America over the last few years and the country needed someone from outside the establishment. For example, at one point he asked why Clinton was only coming up with...

Liam Malone shows value of media skills to his sport

22 September 2016
If anyone has demonstrated how valuable great media skills are to their sport, its paralympian Liam Malone. So often we see athletes and sporting greats give boring media interviews that almost detract from the success they’ve just had. I think lots of sporting organisations even try to keep them out of the media for fear of them saying something wrong. This is a huge lost opportunity for them to promote their sports. Liam Malone has single-handedly proved my point over the...

Auckland candidates could learn from Trump

16 September 2016
Centre-right Auckland mayoral candidates need to learn two important lessons from Donald Trump if they want any chance of beating Phil Goff. The first one is to narrow the message. My advice now would be to focus on one issue in major detail. That would have to be transport or housing. At this late stage, this is the only way to distinguish themselves. People remember very little from political candidates, so the more you tell them, the less they remember. This...

Chiefs damage done on day one

8 September 2016
The reputational damage to the Chiefs was cemented at the outset of the scandal, while the lack of a clear message throughout has compounded the problem. The first and fateful error was the lack of forethought or preparation by the Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman and Gallagher spokesperson (major sponsor) Margaret Comer when they first fronted media. Flexman said: “You have got to remember this is one person's accusation (the stripper) and her standing in the community and culpability is not beyond...

Do political billboards work?

2 September 2016
With the local government elections coming up, you will have seen a mass of political billboards spring up all over the place. They usually consist of a picture of the candidate and a statement or two about them. In my opinion, they are a waste of valuable funding that would be far better used elsewhere. Why? Firstly, the only thing they offer is name recognition and that’s not enough to convince anyone to vote for the candidate. Obviously there is little...

My chat with world leading media trainer, TJ Walker

25 August 2016
TJ Walker is one of the world's leading media trainers. Listen to a podcast I did with TJ about my book and how the news media and media training has changed and differs from country to country. To hear the podcast, click on the headline above. If you want to grow your media skills, subscribe to my news media tips newsletter and get my free White Paper, The 5 Steps to Pain Free Media Interviews, by following this link.
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My Latest Blog Posts

28 April 2022
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16 December 2021
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