EQC Boss shows media training skills

23 May 2013
While EQC has been under intense scrutiny over recent months, CEO Ian Simpson has shown some excellent media training skills. There are few tougher environments than an interview with John Campbell, knowing that his show has received literally thousands of complaints from disgruntled homeowners. But from a media training perspective, Mr Simpson has weathered the storm well. When asked about the complaints, he always empathises strongly with those who have been affected. He comes across as sensitive and sincere. This is partly because his body language is consistently with what he is saying. This is something we focus strongly on in our media training sessions. Where victims are involved, it’s vital that any spokesperson accept their feelings. If appropriate, it’s also good to apologise. This is another thing that Mr Simpson does well. He accepts that EQC has not been up to scratch. The other vital message we tell our media training clients to get across is what you are doing to fix the problem. Mr Simpson has not only done this, but he has given a deadline that he has promised to stick to. This is a gutsy thing to do because the first thing Campbell Live will do when that deadline expires in two months is contact Mr Simpson. They will run a story that night. It will either be extremely positive or extremely negative, depending on whether the deadline was met. Any media training specialist will advise clients to avoid making promises they may not be able to keep. Mr Simpson is either more than confident this will happen, or his comments will come back to haunt him. Overall he has shown that good media training skills can see you survive even the most difficult interviews.

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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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