The term “Media” simply refers to means of communication which has functions such as raising awareness, information dissemination, education, entertainment, socialization and agenda setting — all of which include oral, written and visual images. Media Relations on the other hand is a mutually beneficial relationship between a brand and a specific media outlet, which can be electronic or print.
Importance of Media Relations in Public Relations
- Crisis management
When a company is hit with a crisis, oftentimes, this can become a challenge to control. Crisis communication is therefore, one of the most important functions of any PR outfit. The communication that takes place during such times can make or break the brand.
Brands need to deliver tons of messages to the consumers in such times and so, Media mostly becomes the carrier of these messages. Having good Media Relations help ease out that process and can help the brand to take control of the narrative. As often the narrative gets altered by various mediums, when brands get to control the narrative, it can help them out in a major way.
2. Increase in website traffic
A positive piece of media coverage can benefit the brand in many ways. One such way is that it can drive more traffic towards the brand’s website. Especially if a reputed and trusted media source is involved. It can even increase the reach of the brand’s social media handles to an extent and can help them grow. As discussed before, customers tend to trust a third party more. This is the same reason that positive media coverage can often mean higher website traffic for the brand. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that building relations in the various fields of media is an important part of the job of a PR professional and can help them serve their clients better.
3. Third-party intervention
When something is advertised to the audience — no matter what the form of advertisement is, people usually know that they are being sold to. The communication happens directly between the brand and the consumers. But in PR, as media outlets write or talk about the brand, a third party intervention takes place. The audience is more likely to trust a third party praising or talking about the brand and their new intervention, than the brand doing so themselves. When this happens, the consumers tend to see the brand as more credible and trustworthy especially if the third party is a source that they tend to trust a lot.
4. Brand awareness
One of the primary reasons why Media Relations is important in PR is that it can help to increase brand awareness among the target audience of the brand. PR professionals spend an ample amount of time building relationships with people in the media fields and so, when a brand comes up with a new intervention, they often need coverage in the media. PR professionals, through their contacts in the media world, identify the relevant media channels that tally with the intervention, and try to get positive coverage for the brand. This coverage then reaches the target audience. Since a lot of research is put into identifying the relevant media channels, the news is more likely to reach the target audience, hence increasing brand awareness among new and potential customers for the brand.