Why Gareth Morgan gets news media attention

14 June 2017

Gareth Morgan seems to understand that without lots of media coverage, his party is history. Even with media attention, TOP will find it hard to get into Parliament because it has no state funding for campaigning, no state-funded staff and no automatic profile that comes with parliamentary seats.

But Morgan’s knowledge of what levers to pull to attract interest from reporters and producers is why TOP has been able to get its message across to some extent and is now registering in opinion polls.

If you read my blog regularly, you will have seen a post where I focused on how good Morgan was at dressing up the points he makes in media interviews. But he is also effective at getting those interviews in the first place. This takes skill and an understanding about what reporters and producers are looking for when they decide what to cover.

One thing they love are things out of the ordinary. There’s an old saying, “Dog bites man is not a story, but man bites dog is.” It’s this focus that gets Morgan in the news. For example, how many politicians have you heard of that don’t want to be members of parliament. That’s certainly out of the ordinary.

His latest stunt has landed him probably hundreds of thousands of dollars in free media publicity. For anyone who watches a video on his website, he will give three dollars of his own money to a charity of their choice. He will spend up to one millions dollars. There are also other examples of Morgan doing things ‘out of the ordinary’ to generate publicity.

Another notable figure did this well recently. Donald Trump received about five times as much media attention as Hilary Clinton. Look what happened there. And lately, Teresa May declined to appear on a televised political debate. Look what happened to her. The credibility (plus profile-building) gained from unpaid media attention, rather than paid advertising or even social media campaigns, is priceless and free. Morgan knows this well and is taking advantage.

You can generate this priceless media attention as well. There are many ways to get yourself into the media. I’m about to launch workshops across New Zealand focused on how to “Grow your profits with free press.” If you want to find out more, contact  

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 comment1 Comment

Reply norman | June 14th, 2017 at 1:37pm
Does media training include teaching people that to leverage influence its helpful to knows the difference between 'levers' and 'leavers'

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