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Budget coverage highlights importance of examples

16 May 2014
Anyone who saw the Budget media coverage last night on the main TV networks would have seen how they both talked to real New Zealanders about how the changes would affect them personally. Budget 2014 1One News spoke to a small business owner about how he would be affected by the Budget, while Three News did the same thing, but they spoke to a pregnant woman. This brings up an important point that anyone preparing for a media interview should bear in mind. The media love taking abstract concepts and bringing them down to a concrete level that everyone can understand. For example, viewers are not interested in Paid Parental leave rising from 14 to 18 weeks as much as they are interested in hearing how it will affect a pregnant woman. That’s why Budget stories always involve real people. You should keep this in mind whenever you talk to the media. It’s fine to have an abstract point you want to get across, but it’s important to also explain with the use of examples. That gives people a more concrete understanding of your point. That’s why journalists like to use examples in their news stories. Let me use an example to highlight the importance of examples. I might say: “My media training helps school principals deal with tough media interviews”. I could make the same point by saying: “Principal Blogs had a tough media interview last week and told me he wouldn’t had survived if he hadn’t done my media training course.” Which one of those is more interesting and concrete? For more on my media training, contact pete@mediatrainingnz.co.nz

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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.

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