Public relations practitioners across the globe understand the effectiveness of media relations. Many brands they work for understand that the benefits of media relations are important to its company. Not every PR pro’s proactive media relations efforts may be valued because it isn’t understood. In reality, some professionals must spend time explaining how media relations works and why it’s effective in reaching company goals. Once there is a shared understanding of value, it can easily be seen that the many benefits of media relations happen when used proactively.Let’s take a look at the benefits of media relations:
Credibility When a third party quotes an expert or mentions a company doing good work, it gives credibility to that person or brand. It’s like word of mouth or a referral from a friend. It’s understood that the third party, for instance a reporter, did their research and is pleased to report back to the public. It’s also understood that the brand must have been doing something extraordinary in their work to have caught the eye of a reporter. While many companies frequently do good work and there are many experts in every field, this exposure doesn’t often happen by chance. It happens through proactive media relations.
Reaching audiences There are almost too many ways to reach an audience in today’s world. Thankfully, public relations practitioners have it down ‘to a t.’ They can easily answer the question of, “Where do I even start?” There are blogs for just about every hobby, interest, field and industry. Many newspapers and magazines have additional online not include in print issues. Social media is a strategy of its own to reach targeted audiences. Technology and the way a consumer uses it coupled with traditional media outlets opens the door for being able to send a message to just about every audience.
Share your story A company understands if it has a superb work environment, but those on the outside may not know of its long history of community involvement or its fun work culture. When someone from the outside can step in and tell a company’s story, that allows for new views and opinions aside from what the public already knows. Consumers may only know of a company’s great product, but have no idea about how a company is trying to make a difference in the community. If that company’s story is told, that could drive consumers to want to be a loyal customer.
Control your crisis When a crisis happens in a company, media relations will and should be used. Transparency and timely responses are key during a crisis. Whether something is about to go public or just did, it’s important to craft a statement and get that out to the media as soon as possible. If a company reaches the reporter before the reporter reaches out or publishes a story, it’s an opportunity to control what message is being relayed.
Build beneficial relationships Since working in public relations, I have built a network of contacts in the media. They know to contact me when in need of a particular source. They know that my exchanges with them will be specific to their beat, so they are willing to hear what I have to say. These relationships are mutually beneficial for the media and my clients. Without those relationships, it might be more difficult to get my email read or get more than 30 seconds on the phone with a news assignment desk. The benefits of media relations are also beneficial for the public relations practitioner as media friends evolve from working with them so frequently!
There are many benefits of media relations when done proactively. It’s a strategy to be used proactively resulting in these benefits plus more. Every industry is different and the needs are different as well. But, even more reason to spend time assessing the needs and desired outcomes of media relations.