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NZ Cricket makes critical media training error

14 December 2012
New Zealand Cricket (NZC)has made one major media training mistake in the whole Ross Taylor sacking affair. By not fronting up immediately and laying all the fact on the table, NZC has only made the story drag on for weeks, and it’s not finished yet. In these situations, we tell our media training clients to front the media straight away, tell them everything and make whatever apologies are necessary. This way, the story is told, and the media will move onto something else. Another element here is that people are more concerned how crises are dealt with than the events themselves. Sure Chairman Chris Moller apologised to Taylor yesterday, but that was too late, being two weeks after the issue blew up. Moller and CEO David White justified the delay in coming forward because White was in Dubai and Moller wanted to talk to coach Mike Hesson before fronting the media. In these days of videoconferencing and other high tech communication, this excuse is no longer viable. From a media training perspective, all the delays did was lead to negative speculation, ongoing negative stories and a lowering of NZCs reputation among fans. To make matters worse, when Moller did front yesterday, he set the terms. He would not discuss the Taylor issue, he would not give one-on-one interviews and the Press Conference was cut short. All this meant was that journalists and cricket fans still have many questions to ask. That means talkback radio will still be heavily focused on this, and reporters will need to find other sources for their stories to find some answers. This will likely be people less sympathetic to their cause like Martin Crowe or Mark Greatbatch. Like many of our media training clients say before they understand how the media works, NZC will then complain about lack of balance in stories. But if they are unavailable to share the facts, they only have themselves to blame.

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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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