Posted on Aug 24, 2019
Bill Ralston is a New Zealand journalist, broadcaster, and media personality, active in television, radio and print.
He has worked as a political correspondent, fronted the television arts show Backch@t, and was the head of news and current affairs at TVNZ from 2003 to 2007. 

Bill who now lives in Te Awanga with his wife Janet Wilson talked about changes in the media.
After 40 years in journalism, he and his wife give media advice and work with Prime Ministers and Business leaders.

Media has changed dramatically as it is now instant through websites.

Bill gave advice about handling the media and when people are asked for comments he said the instant comment deadline is movable and we should ask them what they want and ask them to call back in 10 minutes. This gives you time to think and prepare. A prompt response is a good idea and you need to get your point of view across as soon as possible. This way you’ll sustain less damage.

You should have three keys messages to work into your interview.

Then think of the three worst things they could ask and have answers ready and try and transition back to your key messages during the interview – drag the interview back into a positive space. If talking numbers reduce to a more human setting i.e. like 9 out of 10 of our customers …

C for Concern – show genuine concern
A for Action  – say what action you’re going to take and
P for Perspective – media events always magnifies the concern, bring some perspective back into the concern.

He also said it was wise to have good PR people and lawyers and to form a crisis team using the people most intimately involved.

Bill says newspapers and radio are still best forms of news media.