Russell Coutts media training skills could damage Team NZ

29 September 2013
One reason Team New Zealand won so much public admiration was because of the media training skills of both Dean Barker and Grant Dalton. They are both straight shooters and their body language shows just how committed they are to their team and their country. couttsFrom a media training perspective, this is vital. Even when they lost, their focus was on congratulating Oracle and apologising to their supporters. There was no interest in pushing for an enquiry into Oracle’s remarkable turn-around, even though they were clearly devastated. Enter the possibility of Russell Coutts coming on-board to lead a future challenge if Dalton decides to call it a day. He may be a great sailor, but his media training skills are not at the same level. The perception is that he will win at all cost, and he’ll work for the highest bidder. Remember he went to Switzerland and then America after he won the cup at the helm of Team New Zealand in 1995. Then there have been the lengthy courtroom battles hes fought for Oracle against us. Would he get the same public support as Dalton? I doubt it. His media training skills have always been fairly weak. I remember back to those times he was skippering Team New Zealand. He just didN't come across as passionate about what he was doing. I’m sure he was, but it never came through. Dean Barker was a breath of fresh air when he came on-board. Coutts suffers a bit from the David Shearer syndrome (Although no-one would doubt Shearers passion for New Zealand). His body language doesn't match what he is saying. Coutts may do wonders with Team New Zealand if he were to take over from Dalton. But he may find it harder to win the hearts of passionate Kiwis.

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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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