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Olympics offer important media training lesson

3 August 2012
Before we begin our media training sessions, many clients believe that journalists are always looking for negative stories and are never interested in the positive. This is a common misperception and that’s why many people avoid the media at all cost, even if it’s to the detriment of their organisation. The Olympics provide an important media training lesson here, because 90 percent of the media coverage is positive, particularly from the New Zealand journalists in London covering their countrymen and women. They could try to dig up dirt on some of our competitors, or question why some have not done as well as they should, but they chose to focus on the positive. Just look at the attention given to our medalists. When New Zealanders get bronze medals, they are treated as if they were gold. Most journalists even talk about our medal winners, when those receiving silver and bronze are not winners at all. It’s true that conflict and negativity does often sell newspapers, but it doesn't have a monopoly on the news. Many of our media training clients walk out of our sessions with a new attitude towards journalists, and start to look at media interviews as opportunities, rather than something to fear. Journalists are just doing their job like anyone else. There will always be negative stories, but by understanding what reporters want from you and how to package it for them, you can get your points across well in both positive and negative situations. This is what media training shows you how to do. Go the Kiwis.

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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