Public relations is a wide-ranging field that involves many different practice areas. From promoting an event, to mitigating public scandals, to securing key opportunities and facilitating relationships – PR covers a lot of ground.
Today, we would like to discuss one of the practice fields most commonly associated with PR and one of Red Banyan’s specialties: media relations.
To the average person, media relations may be the most commonly held idea of what PR professionals do in their day-to-day activities, and it is certainly a core basis of the trade.
Media relations is the practice of coordinating with various forms of media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.) to secure placement for an individual, business, service or product and relaying that placement to a targeted audience. To put it simply, it is about getting the word out to the people who need to hear it – whether that be through landing authentic coverage in local or national news outlets or honing in on industry-specific publications to share a well-crafted message.
It can be a complicated and highly-involved process – especially if there are attached circumstances like time constraints, sensitivities around a subject that could be damaging to the client, or an unusually competitive or hectic media scene.
Who do you contact to secure that high-profile interview? Is the reporter informed about the right facets of your message to guarantee optimal coverage? Is the reporter asking the questions you want, and are your talking points consistent with your overall media strategy?
All of these aspects and more fall within the realm of media relations, and it is the PR professional’s role to handle these variables in a strategic way that yields the best results for the client’s goals.
Some additional aspects of media relations include:
- Acquiring and providing media materials to enhance a story or messaging
- Organizing and conducting press conferences with journalists
- Creating effective press releases to help generate media coverage
- Preparing defined talking points for clear communication
- Developing relationships with key members of media outlets for access to the public
- Organizing media events
- Generating story ideas to secure media opportunities
Media relations is a primary function within the PR and communications world. It is an essential part of capitalizing on the benefits of earned media, which is an extremely valuable resource when used with skill.
Any individual, organization or business interested in conducting any level of communications to the public would be advised to seek the council of a PR team with a proven track record and expertise in this area.