Momentus PR Commentary: Simon Bridges Versus Todd Muller
With the announcement that the leadership of the National Party is being challenged, I thought I would try and find out who is Todd Muller. With this in mind, and having heard little about him, I decided a good place to start was to listen to Muller’s maiden speech, delivered to Parliament on the 28 October 2014. I then thought out of fairness that I should also do the same with Simon Bridges.
Although I acknowledge that this is by no means a robust critical analysis of their respective capabilities, it does provide a helpful snapshot or soundbite, which a growing number of people will often now rely on when deciding who they should vote for. And so based on who delivered the best maiden speech and who, in my professional opinion, has the ability to restore trust and confidence in the National Party, I believe Todd Muller is that person.
It is unfortunate that leaders like Bridges sometimes underestimate the effect of their own words, especially the [effects of] things they don't say as well as the things they do say. Furthermore, it would appear that Bridges perhaps doesn’t appreciate that the political message can often be more important than the actual decision making - at least as far as public approval and trust go.
Over the past two months, I believe Bridges should have projected a greater degree of compassion, trust and confidence, with a far better understanding that it isn’t the COVID-19 epidemic that has created New Zealand’s economic catastrophe, but the governments approach and ongoing management of its own Covid-19 lockdown.
Although I appreciate that the media eyes have firmly been locked in on Prime Minister Ardern during the COVID-19 crisis, Bridges has still missed many critically important response opportunities, and Ardern has also demonstrated that unlike him, she is a master of social media engagement as an effective tool for normalisation.
So, as we await with interest the outcome of next Tuesday's caucus meeting, if nothing else, hopefully Todd Muller versus Simon Bridges will at least provide us with a much need break from the bombardment of COVID-19 media coverage.