Many people think that media relations is all about pitching stories to reporters, but that’s only a small part.
Pitching reporters is undoubtedly essential. But to be effective at media relations, there’s much more you need to do. If you only rely on reporters, you’re missing out on potential exposure.
What Is Media Relations?
Media relations is a sub-specialty of public relations that deals specifically with the media. Media relations is the art and science of securing media coverage for an individual, organization, event, product, or service.
What Do Media Relations Specialists Do
A media relations practitioner is responsible for maintaining relationships with media members and securing media coverage through those connections.
The media relations practitioner may be responsible for writing press releases, pitching story ideas, and arranging interviews. In some cases, the media relations practitioner may also serve as a spokesperson for the organization.
If you’re interested in media relations, you should know a few things. First, media relations is all about building relationships. You need to establish and maintain positive relationships with members of the media.
Second, it’s essential to have a media relations strategy. This strategy should include your goals and objectives and your target media.
Third, media relations is all about creating content. You need to develop compelling story angles and pitch them to the media.
Fourth, you need to be prepared for media inquiries. Preparation means having a media kit and being familiar with your talking points.
Finally, it’s essential to follow up with members of the media. Thank them for their time, and let them know you’re available if they need additional information.
Public Relations vs Media Relations
The slight difference between public relations and media relations is that media relations is a niche or specialty of public relations. Media relations focus specifically on the media, while public relations includes a broader range of activities.
While media relations and public relations both involve working with the media, media relations is more focused on securing media coverage.
In public relations, the public relations person/group may also be responsible for managing the overall public image of their client or company.
The bottom line is that media relations is a specialty of public relations that works specifically with the media. If you’re interested in a career in media relations, you should consider reading our article on public relations.
Why Media Relations Is Important
Media relations is crucial because it helps an organization or individual promote their brand, product, or service.
Media relations can also help build relationships with members of the media. By maintaining positive relationships with media members, media relations specialists can increase the chances of securing media coverage.
Finally, media relations contributes to the overall public relations goal by helping an organization or individual manage its public image.
Building a Media Relations Strategy
To build a media relations strategy, media relations specialists should consider the following:
- Who is the target audience?
- What are the organization’s goals?
- What are the media’s needs and interests?
- How can the media be used to reach the target audience?
After answering these questions, media relations specialists can develop a media relations strategy that includes tactics such as writing press releases, pitching story ideas, and arranging interviews.
Media Relations Examples
One example of media relations would be if a media relations specialist wrote a press release and pitched it to a journalist. If the journalist decides to write a story based on the press release, that would be an example of media relations.
Another example of media relations would be if a media relations specialist arranged for an interview between a spokesperson and a journalist.
If you’re interested in learning more about media relations, we suggest reading our article on public relations.
Tips For Building Media Relationships
Building media relationships is an integral part of media relations. To create positive media relationships, media relations specialists should:
- Understand the media’s needs and interests
- Be responsive to media inquiries
- Follow up with members of the media
- Offer exclusive content or access
By understanding the media’s needs and interests, media relations specialists can pitch story ideas that are more likely to be accepted.
Being responsive to media inquiries shows that media relations specialists are reliable and easy to work with.
Following up with media members after an article is published or an interview has is completed helps maintain positive media relationships.
Finally, offering exclusive content or access to members of the press.
Becoming a Freelance Media Relations Consultant
If you have a lot of media contacts or want to build connections quickly, you may want to consider becoming a freelance media relations consultant. As a freelance media relations consultant, you would work with clients to help them secure media coverage.
Many small and medium-sized companies don’t have internal media relations employees. And they don’t know how to go about securing media coverage. That’s where you come in!
As a freelance media relations consultant, you would be responsible for developing and implementing media relations strategies for your clients. You need to be skilled at writing press releases, pitching story ideas, and arranging interviews.
To become a freelance media relations consultant, you need:
- A media relations portfolio
- Excellent communication skills
- The ability to work independently
If you have a strong media relations portfolio, you will be able to show potential clients that you have the experience and knowledge to help secure media coverage.
If you don’t have a strong portfolio, consider volunteering for a non-profit, interning, or working part-time for 6-months to 1-year to build your network.
Excellent communication skills are vital because you will need to be able to pitch story ideas to members of the media and build relationships with media contacts.
Working independently is crucial because you will be working with clients remotely.
Now you can answer, what is media relations. If you’re interested in becoming a freelance media relations consultant, we suggest reading our article on public relations consulting.