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Whittall media training skills saved Pike River after disaster

10 December 2011
Pike River Coal may be having a difficult time at the Royal Commission, but it was the media training skills of CEO Peter Whittall that kept the company from major criticism in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Media training experts always tell clients they must front up to the media in crisis situations, even though most feel like running a mile. This is exactly what Whittall did. He became the face of the tragedy. He was always available and performed well from a media training viewpoint. By being available, media didn’t need to look elsewhere for stories. It also meant the Pike River Coal perspective was never far from the headlines. If he was not available, journalists would have had to find other sources for their news. These sources may not have been sympathetic. This can also lead to the publication or broadcast of damaging and inaccurate information. Whittall wasn’t the textbook spokesperson from a media training standpoint. But because he was always available and showed concern for his comrades in a time of crisis, he saved his company from critical media coverage.
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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