The Benefits of Media Relations

hmaBy Shelby Ray, Account Executive at HMA Public Relations, our PRGN partner in Phoenix
Public relations practitioners understand the effectiveness of media relations, but these efforts may not always be valued by their clients because it isn’t fully understood. Some professionals must spend time explaining how media relations works and why it’s effective in reaching company goals. To help reach a shared understanding of value, 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. There are blogs for just about every hobby, interest, field and industry; many newspapers and magazines have additional online articles that are not included in print issues; and social media requires a strategy of its own to reach targeted audiences. Thankfully, PR pros have it down ‘to a T’ and can map out a strategy of which outlets to target.  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 any audience.
Share your story
A company is aware 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 brand’s story, that offers consumers a new perspective. They may only know of a company’s great product, but if that company’s story is told, that could drive consumers to want to be a loyal customer.
Control your crisis
When a crisis occurs, 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 PR, I have built a network of contacts in the media. They know to contact me when in need of a particular source, and 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. Working on starting and maintaining relationships with reporters can ensure you have key media contacts for years to come.
There are many benefits of media relations when done proactively, which is why it is so important to spend time assessing the needs and desired outcomes of media relations.
What do you consider to be the most important aspects of media relations? Comment below or tweet @HMA_PR.
This blog was originally posted on the HMA PR website.

5 thoughts on “The Benefits of Media Relations

  1. Great blog, Shelby! I couldn’t agree more that part of our job is to educate our clients about how media relations works. And I love the point you make about being a reliable resource for reporters. Sometimes, a story gets turned down, but in the process we make ourselves a valuable resource to the reporter, which will help clients in the future.

  2. Thanks for sharing this blog with us Shelby. Media relations are so important in our line of work and you’ve summarized the key reasons really well. I’ll have to keep this handy in case this comes up with any of my clients!

  3. Shelby – all great points about the many facets of media relations. I especially think the use of storytelling is key for companies and brands. It’s a great way to form a lasting connection.

  4. Shelby – I’ve always agreed that third party endorsements – especially from editorially-overseen news reports – is one of the best ways to lend credibility to a business, a person, a product or a service. #OneOfTheReasonsIAmInPR Thanks for a great post. Cheers, David

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