Chris Luxon's Media Interview Skills

1 December 2021

My view is that your best media communicator should be your party leader because the media is the only place where 95 percent of voters will ever see you. I think National have found the right person. It comes down to two things. How well do they come across, and how effective are they at sticking to a clear message?

Chris Luxon has shown that he comes across well. He looks genuine, in control and has the ability to show empathy where needed (and that’s vital). If you’re not able to show genuine empathy, you will never be popular. Jacinda obviously has this, as did John Key.

The ability for a leader to stick to a clear message during media appearances is the other vital skill (and that doesn’t mean avoiding questions). This has been lacking in National lately, and it’s a big reason why many people were unclear what the party stood for at the last Election and since.

Although it has been difficult for Luxon to do this over the past 24 because the interviews have focused on everything from his religion to housing policy, he is usually effective in this. In fact he’s so effective that I use one of his recent interviews in my media training sessions to show clients how it’s done.

It’s early days and obviously other things like policy formation are also important. But having a leader who comes across as likeable and able to communicate a clear message rather than treating every media appearance as a Q&A, is even more important. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t bring National back into contention for Government in 2023.

Check out my free 38 minute Online Masterclass, "Mastering Media Interviews In Any Situation," here.

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.

Add a comment2 Comments

Reply Lanth | April 29th, 2022 at 7:07am
Do you still think that Luxon it's great at media, after his string of abysmal interviews where he isn't clear, can't stick to a message and has no empathy?
Reply Pete Burdon (Author) | April 29th, 2022 at 1:46pm
Hi Lanth. I still think he comes across well, but does need a clearer message. He also needs to prepare answers to difficult question. He hasn't done that well when talking about dropping the top tax rate.

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