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Why leaders need media training

26 August 2011
Successful leaders across New Zealand have one important thing in common. They are all great media communicators. John Key and Bob Parker are two names that spring to mind. John Key Let’s look at John Key. It doesn’t seem to matter what unpopular policies he puts on the table. It has no affect on his popularity or that of the National Party. He remains preferred Prime Minister by unprecedented levels. It’s clearly not all of his policies that make him popular. For example, polls show that the plan to partially sell off state assets is very unpopular. So if that’s not why he is so admired, it must be the man himself. And where does 99 percent of the population see him? On the TV news. So it must be his media performance that keeps him on top. Bob Parker The same goes for Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker. He came across so well in the media after the Canterbury Earthquake in September 2010 that he won the Mayoralty by a large margin soon after. Before this he was expected to suffer a heavy defeat, proving his track record from his first term in the role had not won over many ratepayers. Just like John Key, it was his media performance that got him comfortably across the line. The benefits both men get from their media performance show just how valuable media training can be to politicians. Business While these two men are public figures, the same principles apply in the business world. Although you will never attract as much attention, business spokespeople must be ready for that media call. It could come any time and involve a good news story or a crisis. Regardless, you need to know how to respond and a media training course is the only way to learn. John Key and Bob Parker show what media coverage can do for your reputation if you have the skills to deal with it, while Alasdair Thompson showed us just how simple a reputation is to destroy.
Filed under Media Training

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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