What is Media Relations?
Media Relations is one part of the Public Relations puzzle. This is the work done to build relationships with media outlets so an organization or individual can share or communicate its mission and purpose with a targeted audience. Media Relations is telling your story to the audience or community you want to serve.
Media Relations is truly about relationship building with journalists, producers, managing editors and editors, the whole news outlet, freelancers and even bloggers and podcast hosts.
This includes honest networking and connecting.
Media Relations is about building trust, credibility and loyalty with the media and those you want to collaborate with. It’s the job of a public relations professional to build trust for your organization. It does NOT happen overnight. You need to be trusted as well. You need to disclose why you are valuable to the media and what expertise you can provide to a media outlet.
The value of media relations for your organization or for an individual is increased reach, awareness, visibility and credibility. This is earned media. This is NOT advertising. You are not paying the media outlet for the mention or inclusion in that specific news outlet. (This includes newspapers, magazines, tv, radio, blog, podcast, etc. Due to digital media there are websites for most of these outlets that produce daily content as well. This increases your visibility even more.)
Media Relations Tips
- It’s appropriate to connect with journalists on social media outlets such as #Twitter and #LinkedIN too. Be sure to follow them on these social media platforms to understand more about them as humans and not just journalists. Their personality shines through on social media. Also, be sure to read their latest articles. This is very important when pitching to them. You need to know what topics they cover, their interests and past stories so you are relevant in what you can offer as their next expert, story or idea.
- You need to provide content and value to the media outlet and THEIR audience, thereby gaining credibility for your organization.
- #MediaRelations is just one part of the PR puzzle. The more visible you are, the more you are spreading your reach and building a community and relationships.
- Media Relations is also cost-effective. Be sure to amplify your media placements all over your social media platforms and your website. Tell everyone about your interview in a gracious way. Tag your contact and connections when appropriate.
- Clear, consistent content and messaging is key.