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Why Greg Foran is my Media Communicator of the Year

16 December 2021

There are two specific reasons why this year’s honour goes to Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran for his work around Covid-19.

Firstly, he proved that fronting up to media interviews is usually the best policy. There were so many Covid-19 stories involving Air NZ and he seemed to agree to appear to talk about every one of them.

This is important and something many other CEOs and media spokespeople could learn from. Basically, if an issue affects your organisation, media will come to you for comment. If you agree, you can control the story and be the focus of it. But if you refuse, you lose all control and leave the limelight to others who may not state your case or even misrepresent your position.

The second reason I give the award to Foran is because of how well he kept out of the politics. He was often asked his opinion about Covid-19 policies such as when the border should open, what he thought of the elimination strategy and even the need for MIQ. Answering these can lead to allegations of supporting particular political parties, something a CEO should generally avoid like the plague. He dealt with this perfectly.

For example, a few months ago on Q & A he was asked whether he thought the elimination strategy was sustainable. This was his response: “That’s something scientists and the government need to answer. My focus is on getting this airline up and running.” That’s a great example of how to credibly answer a question that asks for a Yes/No answer.

While Air NZ had a few others issues to deal with this year, this post is focused exclusively on Covid-19.

If you want to grow and maintain your own media interview skills, check out my free Online Masterclass, How to Master Media Interviews in any Situation at the link below.

Written by

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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