Media Relations has to do with organizations working alongside media to keep people aware of its aims, practices, and policies in a good, credible, and steady way. Media typically entails – It consists of Journalists from thousands of magazine publications, newspapers, and TV and radio stations.
Usually, this implies working with the people who create the features and news in the mass media. The aim of media relations is to optimize positive coverage in the mass media without having to spend money on advertising. Thus, if something newsworthy happens in a business, then a media list can help decide which media channels would be interested in covering the news.
Objectives of Media Relations
- Hosting press releases filled with information in the interest of the people.
- Playing the role of media’s source of information.
- Making brand image better.
- Raising awareness, knowledge and improving people’s understanding.
- Boosting communication with investors, financial analysts, and stakeholders.
- Having an impact on government policy at the local, national, and global levels.
- Raising the marketing share.
- Altering the behavior and attitudes of the desired audience through media.
- Making the relationship with journalists and media firms better.
- Keeping a list of personnel names and publications in the media.
Sources of Media Information
1. Print Media
The media forms that have been around the longest are newsletters, journals, magazines, newspapers, and other types of printed materials. These are together known as the print media. The impact of print media has been quite important. It reports a lot more than any other source.
Example-A lot of TV coverage only repeats news and stories which were first stated in newspapers.
2. Press Release
The press release is also known as a press hand-out. It is released by an organization for publication. The businesses disseminating the press release or the newspapers that cover and publish them do not receive money. It only improves the firm’s public image.
The goal of the press release is to keep people up-to-date about crucial events. Public relations departments put out press releases by stating figures and facts about what should be covered by the press.
3. Television News
India’s television sector is quite diverse. There are thousands of programs in the various official languages of the country. 50% plus Indian households have television sets.
4. Radio news
Radio is one more way to broadcast. Television became popular in the 1950s. Before this, radio was the most popular broadcast medium.
5. The Internet
The internet is gradually changing news media. More and more people depend on online news sources and not the traditional broadcast and print media.
Possible reasons an organization may reach out to the media
- Aim to engage with the community.
- Participate in local or community activities.
- Visits from celebrities and senior members of the business.
- Business closures, strikes, or disasters that have happened recently.
- Starting promotional campaigns for the business.
- Highlight awards and accolades received by the business.
- State financial status of the business.
- Broadcast awards or events sponsored by the business.
- Launching new factories or offices.
- Releasing a new product or service.
Media Relations vs PR
Usually, the phrases public relations and media relations are employed interchangeably. This is, however, wrong. Media relation is the relationship that forms between a business and media. Public relation goes a step further to the general public from the media.
Communication among journalists and the organization can be started by either party.
Benefit of Media Relations to Businesses
- Improves credibility.
- Thought Leader Spotlight.
- Product Round-Up.
- SEO, social media, and traffic management.
- Creating authority.
- Increasing brand awareness.
- Endorsements from third-party.
Principles of Good Media Relations
1. A relationship is both unavoidable and crucial between media and the business. The way the firm acts decides whether the relationship is positive or negative.
2. The firm should release statements to the public in one voice. They can appoint and train only one or multiple spokespeople with a coordinated statement.
3. The person most related to the event should be appointed as the spokesperson. If not, then they have to be in touch with the spokesperson.
4. “No comment” statements should be ruled out. All queries have to be answered.
5. The firm should see the media as an ally in communication with people. They must not be seen as rivals or intruders.
6. The firm should hold itself accountable for different people, external or internal.
7. The firm must not try and control the media’s agenda or their calculation of what deserves to be covered.
8. The office for media relations must always be aware of newsworthy events, especially those that can have a bad impact.
9. Journalists should be helped with professional assistance. This can be a working media room, access, and parking permits.
10. The firm should know that it will eventually get bad press. It should react by accepting it, processing it, and recovering quickly.
Example – Tesla disbands U.S. media relations team – Electrek
The news website Electrek says that Tesla has dissolved its media relations team in America. Unlike its competitors, who spend huge money in marketing and advertising, Tesla avoids traditional methods for promoting its vehicles and brand.
Its primary method for marketing products is the Twitter account of CEO Elon Musk. It has over 49 million followers. His posts about new technology or features get reshared by many Twitter accounts and other websites.
The move has been confirmed to Electrek at the highest level at Tesla, with the source saying, “We no longer have a PR Team.” Tesla still has a small PR team for Asia and Europe. However, the main global team based in America has been disbanded.