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Schools survive media scrutiny

9 September 2011
Three incidents across the North Island this week have shown how easily schools can be thrust into the media spotlight. Bus Crash The bus crash with the logging truck bought the Principals of the three schools involved into the news, although they were not at the forefront of the coverage. Mystery Illness The Wellington School with the mystery illness was more focused, but the Ombudsman's report into bullying at Hutt Valley High School must be any Principal's worst nightmare. Hutt Valley High Clearly the school had failed miserably in dealing with the 2007 bullying incidents. That made its handling of it impossible to defend. Media Training Perspective From a media training standpoint, Hutt Valley High Principal Ross Sinclair did a fairly good job when fronting the media. In all situations like this, the first key message must be an apology and the next must be what is being done to stop it happening again. These were clearly the two main messages he wanted to communicate, and he succeeded. His interview skills were not perfect, but he did well in a difficult situation.
Filed under Media Training

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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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