Full marks to Gerry Brownlee. The earthquake minister may have his critics, but he knows how to deal with the media when he's made a mistake: front up to the stuff-up. He promised Canterbury that red-zone homeowners would be paid for house improvements - which turned out to be much more than he could deliver. So he went on camera, openly admitted the mistake, expressed regret and apologized.
But to gain more than you lose, it has to be done in a particular way.
It's easy to slip into the cynicism of the siege mentality. The media are out to get me, they're waiting for me to slip up, they just want a sensational headline, they only want to sell papers and raise their ratings.
That mentality can damage you because you come across as reluctant to be in people's homes talking to them. But - incredibly - some media trainers are actively teaching siege mentality tactics.
Beware two tactics in particular.