Why media relations are important in PR
Media relations are one of the most important aspects of PR. Without good relationships with journalists, it’s increasingly difficult to have your pitches and story ideas picked up and covered, and that’s what you need to get results for your clients.
Developing contacts with journalists and building a media database or network is essential. If you’ve worked in the media, you’ll already have well-established contacts, and that helps to give you a distinct advantage.
But if you haven’t worked as a journalist, how do you go about creating that network? It’s important we start at the beginning.
What are media relations?
First of all, you need to understand what are media relations?
Media relations are the relationship PR professionals develop with people working for a media outlet, including editors, reporters, producers, chiefs of staff, cameramen and photographers. In a world where social media is rising in prominence, this may also include social media influencers. Your media network needs to include media personalities who make decisions or influence decisions on story ideas.
For decades, the team at Adoni Media worked as senior journalists, newsroom bosses, foreign correspondents, political experts, and corporate affairs specialists. In that time, we have built an impressive network of media contacts across the country and around the world. In addition to our personal contacts, we also have access to a national database of editors, journalists, producers, and media personalities.
Adoni Media Managing Director, Leisa Goddard, says forming a good relationship starts with understanding what a journalist needs.
“Being a good PR professional means you give journalists what they require to tell their story,” Leisa said.
“Research the reporter first and only approach them with a pitch that’s appropriate and relevant to them and the media outlet they work for. Know the facts of your story, offer up a good spokesperson and have other media assets ready, like a filming location, pre-shot video or hi-res images.”
As well as a good story, journalists love coffee – and it’s one of the best ways to start developing a media network. Invite a journalist to meet at a café and have a few story ideas ready to pitch. 94% of reporters drink coffee, so there’s a good chance you’ll find someone to agree to meeting up with you.
What are media relations in PR?
Media relations in PR are about building mutually beneficial relationships between journalists and PR professionals. Journalists get new stories, PR professionals get media coverage for their clients. It’s a win-win.
Traditionally, media relations were pretty straightforward. Sending press releases in bulk was widely accepted by the mainstream media. Now, not everyone wants to cover the same stories and there is a broad range of niche outlets which require specific “angles”.
For PR professionals, that means you need to be more creative, tailor your pitches, and personalise emails as much as you can. A journalist receives hundreds of media releases every day. Your pitch needs to stand out among this sea of emails.
And for journalists, it’s also helpful to have a few good contacts in PR. When those pitch meetings are called, you can tap into your network for help with coming up with story ideas. And when breaking news hits, you know who to call for access to key spokespeople who can lend their insights and expertise.
Why are media relations important?
Media Relations are key to securing media coverage for brands, which helps to:
- raise brand awareness
- build brand authority
- increase website traffic, social media and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- protect reputations during a crisis.
As we’ve established, media relations help to secure press coverage for your client. And it’s this coverage that increases brand awareness for businesses, spokespeople, and brands.
PR professionals spend a lot of time building relationships with people in the media. So, when they develop a PR strategy, they can identify the relevant media outlets that match their client’s story. This helps to ensure media coverage is achieved, reaches their client’s target audience and helps to increase brand awareness.
Building contacts is important but so too is maintaining positive long-term relationships with journalists. A PR professional is more likely to secure media coverage from a journalist they have a relationship with.
Journalists are also more likely to contact a friendly PR agency when they’re looking for a spokesperson for a story. This helps to establish a brand or business as an industry expert or ‘go-to’ commentator.
Increase website traffic, social media and SEO
Media coverage also has a flow-on effect of increasing search engine results when people search for a brand online. There may also be an increase in likes and shares on the brand’s social media channels.
If the article includes a backlink, this will refer traffic to the company’s website and improve domain authority. This is particularly helpful if the website is a reputed and trusted media outlet.
During a crisis, a lack of time and control are the biggest challenges for any business. Media relations is critical to delivering messages quickly and helping businesses take control of the narrative. This is important to try and minimise any brand damage and reputational risk.
Adoni Media’s experience and network is unrivalled. To find out how we can help you achieve your PR goals, contact us.