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Could the media training skills of Shane Jones make him a contender?

29 August 2013
Most commentators seem to have dismissed Shane Jones from the Labour Party leadership race, but could his media training skills be what the party needs? Shane JonesCommentators always talk about who has the support in Caucus, the Party and the Unions, but what really counts is who appeals to swinging voters or those who often don’t even bother to vote. That’s where Elections are won and lost. So that’s what those with a vote on the new leader should be thinking about. This is where media training skills are so important. With TV being the only place 99 percent of these crucial voters will see the candidates, the one who appeals to them the most should be the next Labour Leader. To me, Shane Jones has the ability to come across as totally genuine, a bit like John Key. He also uses humour well and has the brain for the job. The only media training advice I would give him is to work a bit on his body language. He can come across a bit too laid back. When it comes to getting South Aucklanders out to vote, I believe he has the best chance. While it’s disappointing, it appears Grant Roberston’s sexuality will stop some. David Cunliffe may do a good job, but from a media training perspective, he can appear arrogant as if he is talking down to people. That may not bode well for getting these crucial voters down to the polling booth. But Shane Jones can appeal to this group. He would be the last of the three candidates to be accused of being a “Chardonnay Socialist” and looks like he has more in common with them than his two competitors. Obviously there is more to leadership than giving a good TV interview. But when you need to impress people enough for them to vote for you, nothing is more important.

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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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