When people define Media Relations as the practice of building mutually beneficial relations with the media, the definition is only vague and requires more explanation. Media Relations thus is the practice of building good relations between a brand and a media outlet. This means that an organization gets to liase with a journalist or reporter or editor, whom most of the time is affiliated to a certain media house to help develop and publish a good piece about your organization. The piece may be in form of a writing, documentary or even an audio that the person working from the media will create after studying the organization and understanding what they do. For Media Relations to be achieved, the piece must be presented to the old media which includes the newspapers, or the TV or the radio.
Media Relations is of importance in the following ways;
- Builds Brand Awareness
Media Relations is a fundamental part of building and achieving brand awareness. Even though old media platforms may seem to have been taken over by the new media, people still regard the old media platforms as extremely reliable. This is because new media which are the social media platforms have been manipulated by con artists who may pose an organization which does not exist so that they are able to manipulate people who may approach them for service provision. It is not an easy thing to register an organization to the old media unless you reveal the right credentials and therefore people know it may be difficult for a con to advertise a non-existent organization in, say, a newspaper or TV.
- Establish Credibility
Having a good journalist by your side is important because they will always try to give a good name for your organization. Journalists influence a large number of people and are believed to be trustworthy because these are people that handle matters communication that affect many audiences. Members of the public usually trust what journalists present to them because they are certain it has been verified and is credible.
- Establish Media Relationships
When an organization gets fond of having constant communication with the media, the media regards them as family and therefore will always give un upper hand in the running of things. Say if you have a Press Release, they may decide to cover it at a cheaper price and for longer than they would for other organizations.
- Helps control crises
During times of crises, there may be many different kinds of information making its way from members of the public to the journalist or media house. If there is a media personnel who knows the organization, they will refrain from posting the information that has reached them in order to give time to the organization to draft a good explanation to the situation that will not injure their reputation in the eyes of stakeholders or consumers.
Also, the journalist may advise how to handle the situation right because they have been in the practice for a while and know how best to settle a crisis because they have experience in so doing.
- By Miriam Vanessa Otieno