Friday, September 28, 2007

Media Skills Training For School Leaders: Winning The Media Game - Perth - September 25th 2007

Praise for Winning The Media Game held in Perth on September 25th 2007.

“Great!! The individual approach, the personal critique and the professional information / knowledge.” Peter Glendenning, Principal, Campbell Primary School

“The practical component. I was dreading the ‘interviews’ however they reinforced the messages from earlier in the day.” Stephen Yates, Principal, Charthouse Primary School

“Concise with excellent tips for managing the media. In addition, I was able to apply the information to our website, the school newsletter and other promotional initiatives.” Doug Booth, Principal, Kinross Primary School

“Concise at a level appropriate to all participants. Positive, well structured, well paced, good feedback & discussion and relaxed.” Rob Nairn, Principal, Swan View Senior High School

Winning The Media Game - Perth - September 2nd 2007

Praise for Winning The Media Game held in Perth on September 2nd 2007.

“It was fast moving and that was great. I felt I was constantly thinking and learning as a consequence.” Erica Lewin, Australian Democrats WA Division

“Relaxed professional style.” Paul Barratt

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Powerful and Persuasive Speechwriting Narrogin District Education Office 7th September 2007

Pictured above from right to left, Rosalba Butterworth, District Director, Heather Mahar, Narrogin District and Sharyn O'Neill, director-general of the Department of Education and Training

Praise for Powerful and Persuasive Speechwriting held at the Narrogin District Education Office on September 7, 2007

"Relevant and Entertaining."

"├ľne of the best Personal Developments that I have attended."

"Tom Murrell's presentation was extremely engaging. The skills are directly applicable to my everyday work."

"Tom Murrell's session was very worthwhile and provided so very useful information."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Powerful & Persuasive Speechwriting: The Leadership Centre, Perth, 11th September 2007

Praise for the Powerful & Persuasive Speechwriting course in Perth on September the 11th 2007.

“He knows his stuff! It was on target, tailored to meet our needs as Principals. Modelled the key points well. Pace was excellent and resulted in high level of engagement.” Barbara Bromley, Principal, Newton Primary

“The style of presentation was practical and well structured.” Dene Bright, Principal, SIDE Primary School

“The many strategies/processes that I can use for speech writing in the future. The many different modes of the presentation to keep interest.” Les Thompson, Principal, Ashburton Drive Primary School

“Structured approach and practical examples. Having a small group was also excellent” Ron Chesny, Principal, Bayswater Primary School

“Well organised and presented. Very relevant to me.” Terry Coumbe, Principal, Currambine Primary School

“Practical, easy to use, well organised, entertaining and on the ball.” Lea Hadley, Principal, Harmony Primary School

“Dynamic, relevant and an excellent pace.” Jo Stephens, Principal, Merriwa Primary School

“Organised and well prepared.” Sharon Albers, Deputy Principal, Carlisle Primary School

“Excellent content, great framework.” Lynda Moir, Principal, Caversham Primary School

“The modeling and interaction was great, Tom allowed us to engage with our personal interests and experience. This made the process of learning so much more meaningful.” Rachel Perry, Director, The ERD Consultancy

Writing & Pitching Winning Media Releases: Perth, September 18th 2007

Praise for the Writing & Pitching Winning Media Releases workshop run in Perth on September 18th 2007.

“The booklet provided is great; very informative and good to be able to keep for future reference.” Deana Tesoriero, Communications Officer, St Vincent de Paul Society (WA) INC

“I loved the practical feedback from Tom and the interaction with other people. The ideas about relationships, newsworthiness and journalists were also excellent.” Kate Van Saane, Communications Coordinator, St Vincent de Paul Society (WA) INC

“Very useful, provided many tips on improving and understanding how to write an effective media release.” Nadine Maisey, PR/Communications Officer, City of Wanneroo

“Refreshing and new ideas for writing and targeting media releases.” Anita Harris, Public Relations & Events Coordinator, Arthritis Western Australia

“The interactive and hands on nature of the presentation was very effective.” Justin Stillitano, Business Development Manager, Stirling Products Limited

“It was all easy to follow.” Simone Holmes-Cavanagh, Communications Advisor, City of Stirling

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How Much Is The Media Motivators Blog by Thomas Murrell Worth?

Always put a value on your product or service?

So how much is this blog worth? I came across this neat tool recently.

My blog is worth $20,323.44.
How much is your blog worth?

Why don't you see how much your blog is worth?

Cheers, Tom

Friday, September 14, 2007

How To Avoid Being Misrepresented In The Media

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP - International Business Speaker

Being misrepresented in the media is one of the major threats in dealing with the media.

People who haven't had a lot of media experience often get burnt.

They have a meeting or an interview with a journalist, perhaps at a coffee shop, and as they leave the coffee shop they make a throw away line to the journalist.

That throw away line then becomes the headline of the story (and remember that 85 per cent of the impact of a story is in the headline).

When they see that story being published or broadcast by the media they then get very disappointed and again it just reaffirms their negative image, their negative relationship and fear of the media.

So when misrepresentation does occur, how can you overcome it and how can you avoid it?

Well the most important thing is to understand how misrepresentation happens.

In media analysis, there are three key things you need to know;

- You need to understand that the media re-presents reality as images, texts, symbols. Reality does not equal what you see, read or view in the media.

- The whole process of reporting a story, involves a process known as mediation. This often changes the meaning and the message of the story. It changes it from reality to what we see in the world through the media.

- And then the third impact of the media is known as agency, or how your story will be treated by individual media outlets. That is the economics, the politics and the culture of the media organization will impact on how the story is reported. So how the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports on a story will be different to how the Special Broadcasting Corporation reports on a story which will also be different to how the Wall Street Journal reports on a story.

So all these factors are at work. But there are three main causes of misrepresentation;


You actually get it wrong.

You get a phone number wrong, you get a contact detail wrong or you get an important fact or statistic wrong.

The most high profile example from Western Australia I can think of was in the last state election held in 2005, where the then opposition leader Colin Barnett proposed to build a canal from the Kimberley in the North-West of Western Australia to Perth in order to bring water down south and solve Perth's water crisis.

At the media conference held to announce the costing of his canal concept, two days before the election, the savings document he presented was more than $200 million out. This ruined his credibility and had a major impact on his ability to get elected. Although he could not recover from this faux-pax, Colin Barnett did the best thing he could given the situation and accepted responsibility, ‘It's done through my office but I am the person, I accept responsibility for it,' he said (ABC 2007).


Journalists are human, they do make mistakes and they make mistakes in representing the facts or your message.

How do you overcome that. Well, you prepare a written media statement, media release or news release and you give that to the media. A media release is a stylized piece of writing containing quotes, facts and relevant news. Always double check your media release so there are no mistakes.

Another way of overcoming misrepresentation is to ring up the journalist who has interviewed you and get the quotes checked to ensure they are accurate.

In Australia, this is generally an accepted practice and journalists do not mind if you ring up to check the accuracy of quotes (this does vary with journalists however). It is not acceptable in Australia however, to ring up and ask to see a copy of the story before it is published or broadcast. An Australian journalist will not do this.


Somewhere in the process of taking the story from the written form of the journalist into the actual newspaper or television final media product, a mistake is made.

The mistake is not made by the journalist in writing the story but by the sub-editor or producer or someone else involved in the production process.

If the error is serious you can ask for a formal apology in the media.

So, there are three ways misrepresentation can occer and some ways on how to avoid them.

If you are interested in learning more about the media, come to our Writing & Pitching Winning Media Releases Course on September the 18th. Book now.