Failure to take media training advice has cost Aaron Gilmore

10 May 2013
Last week I said Aaron Gilmore’s behaviour was not a hanging offence, but his failure to take the most basic media training advice has now left him in a hopeless situation. Any media training expert would have advised him to front a press conference the day his behaviour became news, and told the whole truth, followed by a sincere apology. A drive to Hanmer Springs to apologise personally to the barman would have been a good idea also. Some commentators are now saying Gilmore has been dealt with too harshly because everyone has made a full of themselves after a few drinks. What they forget is that this is no longer about the incident itself. It’s about Gilmore’s credibility. From a media training perspective, people are forgiving of mistakes, but only if they are admitted quickly and apologised for. But text message evidence now suggests that Gilmore wasn’t telling the whole truth when he did apologise, and he did in fact threaten to get the Prime Minister involved in sacking the barman. Gilmore has still not been able to convince Key that his version of events was the correct one. If Gilmore had taken the correct media training advice and fessed up immediately, questions like this about his credibility would never have been asked. And while the story may have dragged on for a few days, it’s now been two weeks. It has also been in the week before the Budget when Government’s like to generate positive media coverage for their many pre-Budget announcements. But with the Gilmore issue hogging the headlines, these good news announcements have either been buried on the inside pages, or ignored entirely.

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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