Chirdcare centre makes serious media training mistake

13 May 2012
The childcare centre alleged to have expelled a boy with HIV made a serious media training mistake by not coming forward and appearing on Campbell Live once they knew the story would run. Understandably it was a difficult situation for centre management, but by keeping quiet and not appearing, they handed control of the story over to the Aids Foundation. If someone had appeared, that person would have been able to set the story straight and say they had just asked the boy to stay at home while they worked out how to deal with him. They could have made it clear he hadn’t been expelled. From a media training perspective, this would have given the story balance, and they could have refuted many of the claims made by the Aids Foundation. Because the Aids Foundation spokesperson had no-one on the programme to challenge him, he was able to heavily criticise the centre without objection. To their credit, the centre did go public the following day, but from a media training standpoint, this was too late. The news cycle had moved on and very little prominence was given to their point of view. This failure to front up in such situations is a common mistake made by businesses throughout New Zealand. It’s often because they fear the media and believe that journalists are ‘out to get them’. Media training allays these fears and shows them exactly how to get their points across in both positive and negative situations.
Filed under Media Training

Written by

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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