Media Training

Steven Adams and 'Quick Little Monkeys'

18 May 2016
I don’t believe for a minute that Steven Adams meant any harm when he described Golden State’s guards as ‘quick little monkeys’, but it raises two important points about media interviews. Firstly are the obvious cultural differences. What means one thing to one culture or country can mean something totally different in another. The term ‘monkey’ is associated with racism in the US, but not in New Zealand. These differences are common, even among similar countries. I still remember an incident...

My book and online course are here

11 May 2016
My book “Media Training for Modern Leaders” and accompanying online PRACTICAL course “The Media Training Academy” are here. Media Training for Modern Leaders focuses on everything today’s leaders need to know about the news media. A major part of this is how to be ready for media scrutiny and how to master media interviews. There are also Chapters on attracting media publicity and communicating during a crisis or adverse event. It's unique because each Chapter has a specific section on what's...

Sacked TV staff create Mark Weldon headlines

5 May 2016
If you needed any proof of what journalists look for in their quotes and sound bites, look no further than the Twitter posts of former Media Works reporters when Mark Weldon announced his resignation as CEO of the company this week. Clearly the overwhelming majority of those who lost their jobs in the Weldon-led restructure were happy he was leaving. But instead of just tweeting that they were happy about the news, they dressed up their points with interesting language. They...

Trump success due to changing news media needs

28 April 2016
The success of Donald Trump is not as surprising as many people believe purely because of the changing needs of the news media. The amount of time media spokespeople have to make their points continues to reduce as the public are flooded with information from a huge variety of sources. This is where Trump comes into his own. He may lack any policy detail, but he’s the master of the 7 second sound bite, and that’s all he gets in the...

Media advice for underdog Mayoral candidates

20 April 2016
If non-high profile Mayoral candidates want any chance of winning their races this year, they need to become aggressive publicity hounds with a message to tell. If they don’t do this, they have no chance. What should they do? Firstly, they need to be proactive with the news media. This doesn’t mean just being available when a reporter wants to interview you, its about presenting that reporter with a carrot that’s too irresistible to ignore. Here’s an example. Before I continue...

Key still creating great sound bites

14 April 2016
John Key is still a great media communicator. Not only is this because of his effective body language, but also the words he uses to communicate what he wants to get across. Media training specialists all tell their clients to focus on key messages when they are talking to the news media. But the expert spokespeople take this a step further. How? They dress these points into more interesting language. This means reporters are far more likely to use them as...

Clark would win hands down if it came down to communication skills

5 April 2016
Clark’s communication skills would see her win hands down If the campaign to become UN Secretary General was like any other, Helen Clark’s communication skills would get her across the line comfortably. We saw these skills for nine years, while others have now seen them in her current UN role. So what are they? Clark has a unique ability to get her points across briefly, clearly and in an interesting way. We all witnessed this on television when she was Prime...

How should MPs use social media?

31 March 2016
Social media gives MPs a huge opportunity to attract positive attention in mainstream media, but so many seem to hit the headlines for the wrong reasons after posting thoughtless updates. This week it was Labour’s Sue Moroney after offending the owner of a ‘flashy beach house’ who had not removed the alternative flag following the referendum. She was followed by Metiria Turei who posted that, ‘Me and my mate hooning in the car on a low-alcohol cider,’ followed by the hashtag...

Wicked Campers asleep at the wheel

22 March 2016
The owners of Wicked Campers are making a huge mistake by refusing media interviews on the publicity around their van slogans. All they are doing is giving all the limelight to their detractors and failing to even state their point of view. Meanwhile, more and more camping grounds in New Zealand will turn them away. The sight of their vans will be bad for their own reputations. Clearly Wicked Campers target a specific group of people. On their website they say...

Jacinda Ardern's criticism of MediaWorks - My take

17 March 2016
You may have seen Jacinda Ardern’s open letter to MediaWorks CEO Mark Weldon earlier this week where she criticised the movement away from hard news and current affairs to less important stories that got more website clicks. She has a point, but news organisations are always going to focus on material that their audience wants, rather than what some would say are “more important issues.” What can be done about this? In a nutshell, media spokespeople have to be more interesting....
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