Zorb inventors show media training skills

10 January 2013
The New Zealand inventors of zorbing highlighted an important media training point when responding to the zorb death at a Russian ski resort this week. David and Andrew Akers came up with the idea of a double-skinned inflatable sphere in 1994 and developed the activity of rolling down hills. The Russian death could have threatened the industry here, with people assuming all zorbing is the same with similar safety standards. This meant the New Zealanders had to distance themselves. They appear to have done well, responding to all media requests. They made it clear they had no link to the Russian business, and condemned the scant safety precautions that were used. Lots of businesses shy away from the media in far more serious situations than this for fear of humiliation. But if the Zorb inventors didn’t front, there points would never have been made. The reputation of the business would have taken a major hit. This is where media training is important. For those who have attended a course that shows them how to interview properly and understand what journalists want, they understand how to deal with media situations like this. Their fear is lessened, their confidence grows and they know exactly what to do. Most of our media training clients attend our courses as insurance policies against the possibility of media scrutiny. Could you cope if a journalist approached you with a serious allegation?

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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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