What is Media Relations?
Media relations refers to the various communication activities your company may undertake in order to build a positive relationship with the print and online media. The purpose of media relations is to get priority media coverage for your company, to get favorable media coverage, as well as to generate a positive perception of your company across all your target audiences. In other words, media relations can help raise your company’s profile and build a good reputation with a larger audience. The most common tools used in media relations include press releases, press conferences, interviews, and press kits. Companies can assign the task of handling media relations to their communication department. Alternatively, they can outsource a PR company.
Are you hosting an event or introducing a new product? Are you trying to garner support for a fiscal measure that is meant to attract private investors? Do you need to build a grassroots business support coalition to better advocate for a more favorable Labor Code? A good relationship with the media can help you draw attention to the issues that interest you the most. Has your company downsized as a result of changing priorities? If so, media relations can help you reassure your target audience. Are you struggling to recover from a PR crisis, as a consequence of a bad investment? Are you involved in a lawsuit against a competitor? Have you been sued by former employees? Do your customers feel that your brand hasn’t been delivering on its promise lately? In such cases, building proper media relations is critical if you want to salvage your reputation, because whoever gets priority access to the media stands a better chance of saving face.
PR experts can help you build appropriate relations with journalists because they have built a solid database of media contacts over time. Having worked together on many occasions, PR specialists and journalists often have a good working relationship that is built on trust. Moreover, PR agencies often have privileged access to journalists who specialize in your industry and who are specifically interested in what you have to share. PR specialists are also experienced in producing and using the tools that are required for good media relations, such as press releases, press conferences, media kits, etc. By maintaining quality relations with the media over time, PR companies can use their influence to your advantage in two ways. First, PR specialists can get you priority media coverage across a diversity of relevant outlets. Second, PR agencies can get you more lenient coverage in times of crisis, because they will have built a good relationship with journalists who would otherwise be more critical of your company. A PR company’s reputation can go a long way towards securing you a good reputation with journalists and, by extension, with your stakeholders and society at large.