Media Relations and Public Relations are two terms that are usually thrown together but contrary to popular belief, the two concepts are not the same. Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and the general public which can include employees, customers, industry, government entities, investors, charities, suppliers and the media while Media relations concentrates on a connection with the media world on a daily basis.
Both, therefore, have work to develop and design media plans that can become a blueprint for what the company hopes to accomplish at a local, national or international level. Public relations takes into consideration the bigger picture of how an organization relates and is perceived by the public at large which is why a good public relations strategy can not only help a company understand its customers and provide meaningful solutions, but track those results and often forecast outcomes for future circumstances. Believe it or not, PR can affect community behaviour, sometimes even more so than advertising; which is why a public relations professional’s toolbox has to include the ability to research, write and speak. Now let’s delve a bit deeper into the meaty matter of what Media Relations is.
The best way for me to describe Media relations is the daily interactions with editors, reporters, journalists and everything media which of course can be newspapers, radio, television and the internet. The goal here is to communicate a client’s newsworthy message, story or information using the appropriate media outlets. A company may need only one person to work with the media or choose to hire a team depending on the amount of information that has to be controlled.
To be a savvy and effective Media Relations expert, it is essential to work with and NOT against the media because developing a strong relationship with journalists, bloggers and content writers who may be eager to hear what you have to say, can provide your client with invaluable access to the public. While an invisible line is drawn between public relations and media relations, professionals in both fields have to be experts in mass communication to be successful. Trending information has to be anticipated, understood well in advance and it has to be quickly accessed. Everything has to be carried out in a way that places your company in a positive light, so extensive knowledge of the internet and social media are additional tools to own to be an effective Media Relations professional.
Marketing and Advertising are key components that are an intrinsic part of Public and Media Relations; both are powerful tools for any corporation, allowing business leaders to spread the word about valuable products and services to a broad audience. Note that without a public relations firm providing media relations, these marketing efforts may fall flat. Media relations is an integral part of any business, allowing professionals to distribute company news and product updates through traditional news outlets and popular social media channels. Sharing a company’s news in the media does not happen automatically, it’s a system that takes time and talent.
From concept to execution, media relations begins inside a corporation, when a company has an important update to share. Whether the news covers a cutting-edge new product, a change in structure or process or an exciting business expansion, someone has to distribute the news to the media. Once the news is ready, PR professionals create the magic, selecting the best media outlets to distribute the information. Media Relations experts usually leverage their expertise and connections in the news industry to get the coverage. The sheer amount of exposure media provides for a corporation will make your business top-of-mind for consumers. A carefully executed news feature can elevate a company’s reputation, foster brand recognition and boost sales, making an impact on your bottom line. This is how Media relations work.
To understand how successful media and public relations work together, you’ll not only need a good media outfit, you’ll need a toolbox and a qualified PR firm to help create successful media kits. Tools like news releases communicate the most important messages to the news media. Media advisories can also be used to give a short update or advance notification to news outlets. Media pitches belong to PR professionals who help businesses craft pitches to the media, getting reporters on board to publish packages of information while editorial calendars can be updated frequently, keeping a business on schedule for news updates and delivering those updates to the public, Media inquiries are often directed to PR professionals who know how to facilitate and respond to these inquiries. One of the most important tools in PR however, is Relationship building; relationships with the news media which are developed through years of work and goodwill position PR to leverage them and yield earned media.