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Media training not the magic bullet for Shearer

28 April 2012
Labour leader David Shearer may be slowly improving his media training skills, but he must become more proactive with the media if he is to contend with John Key at the next Election. He is clearly working on his media training skills, but the other thing that needs work is the quality and frequency of his messages. While he did well last week attacking the Government over the Sky City deal, it was very reactionary. There's nothing wrong with that, as part of his job is to hold the Government to account. But there comes a point where he needs to talk policy alternatives. This can be difficult at such an early stage in the Parliamentary term, but he could still talk about alternatives without being specific. By failing to do this, he's merely competing with other opposition parties in knocking the Government. Labour needs to be seen as a Government in waiting, and to achieve this it must not only attack Key and his team, but show how it would do a better job. Shearer needs to be seen as the leader of that Government in waiting. To do this he still needs more media training. With the benefits of that media training he must then front for the party in more areas to improve his visibility and be proactive by creating news rather than just reacting to it.

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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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