Rules Of Media Relations

1 May

Media relations is a two-way street where the rules of the road is observed a courtesy rather than enforceable regulations. In one direction, journalists ask practitioners for help in gathering information for news stories or verifying details. In the other, practitioners distribute news announcements to the media or ask journalists to consider story ideas for publication.

This traffic generally moves smoothly at high speed, though collisions occur when drivers don’t know the rules or don’t care to follow them. For practitioners, the rules include conventions like the use of Associated style in news releases, courtesies like returning phone calls promptly, and on absolute rejection of falsehood and deception.

Reporters and editors are seldom the ultimate target of public relations programming. Instead, gatekeepers who work in broadcasting and publishing represent and intervening public, controlling the flow and presentation of information to readers, listeners, and viewers.

Ultimately, public relation programs aim to reach consumers, regulators, government officials, activists, and others whose opinions and actions will affect the practitioner’s organization.

Purposes of Media Relations:

Reaching target public through news media exposure  is a common practice in public relations for at least six reasons:

Efficiency:

Mass media, such as Websites, daily newspapers, and television, reach individuals by the hundred of thousand or even millions with unsurpassed speed.

Credibility:

Individuals often believe that information in reputable media like Times of India, The Statesman is more trustworthy than the same information presented by an organization.

Targeting:

Individuals who read or watch certain kinds of media or programming may have predictable interests or habits, enabling the practitioner to tailor messages with greater precision and mutual benefit.

Agenda Setting:

Media attention often determines which topics come up in general conversation, and a practitioner may want to get people talking about a specific subject.

Economy:

Message that appears in the news media involve comparatively low costs for the practitioner’s organization.

Time shifting:

Print media, in particular, allow individuals to pick their own best time and place to digest information. The same is true, to a lesser extent, for web sites, CD’s and DVD s.

Remember the basics:

Be clear in your communications, be ready to supply all the resources a journalist requires to complete a story, be well read in the media organizations and people you are pitching and be prepared to overcome the angst of creating great pitches that seem to fall into the black hole of the (now digital) trash.

Remember it is relationships:

Even if they hop from company to company, journalists have long memories. Maybe your pitch did not work this time, but the effort and professionalism you put into the process will be remembered and eventually rewarded. Have fun, take a deep breath and keep trying.

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