Tony Abbott's media training skills helped him over the line

10 September 2013
Like him or loathe him, Australia’s new Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has some impressive media training skills that helped him win the top job across the Tasman. Tony AbbottFew will know, but Abbott is a former journalist. From there he became a Press Secretary in the office of former Liberal Party leader John Hewson. He advised on media issues. This is why his media training skills are so good. He knows what journalists want and he knows how to give it to them. By knowing this, he also knows how to get his points covered in media stories. He is brief, minimises the points he covers and uses colourful language. While he has been a good debater as Leader of the Opposition, he does have a weakness he has freely admitted to in the past.  In the heat of battle, he can go a bit further than he intended. Or in other words, he can lose control and say things he later regrets. From a media training perspective, this can cause problems. And they can be compounded if you are Prime Minister speaking on behalf of your country, rather than an opposition leader attacking the Government. This is not only during media interviews, but also the many on-going and stressful high-powered meetings a Prime Minister is exposed to. As a leader he is in a unique position. He is probably more of a media training expert than his advisors. But time will tell how well he controls himself in those difficult situations.

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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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