Engaging With The Media.

Working with the media takes much skill and creativity. Workable relationships are built from a wealth of knowledge including how to communicate with the media, how the media operates and how they can have affect on your organisation. As a media relations person it is crucial to always meet your deadlines, failing this will often result in a missed opportunity and will wear as a stain on your professional credibility.A significant role of the Public Relations practitioner relies on positively presenting the face of an organisation to the public. This is essentially achieved through attaining mass media coverage and by publishing newsworthy stories that will support the organisations objectives. These stories should aim to boost public awareness, develop community relations, draw crowds to an event or to minimise apprehension if crisis averts (McLean & Phillipps, 2009).

When I think of a gatekeeper I am instantly reminded of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings as he famously declares “You shall not pass”. However, in Public Relations and the ‘real world’, gatekeepers hold a vital part in determining how successful your media campaign will be and decide on whether or not to accept or reject your story. They are the editors, directors of news, or chiefs of staff who select from an array of media releases, news tips, emails, web diaries, or blogs. The stories chosen will appeal to them based on criteria and their news values which will vary from one individual to another.

“Media releases are the key tool in media relations, but to be effective they must contain real news, not hype. After gatekeepers give them a quick scan, many media releases are consigned to the waste basket because they contain nothing the gatekeeper recognises as newsworthy” (McLean & Phillipps, 2009).

Clara Zawawi (2001) undertook an Australian study which analysed articles in leading metropolitan newspapers the Courier-Mail, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Zawawi found that 47 per cent of these articles were the direct result of public relations activity. ‘Often there is no time for the reporter to go out and chase news…Public relations people are ready and willing to fill the gaps’ (McLean & Phillipps, 2009).

There are many keys to success in the Public Relations field, the most golden of those being to under-promise and over-deliver. It is also vitally important to build relationships with journalists and editors. Working with the media takes much skill and creativity. Workable relationships are built from a wealth of knowledge including how to communicate with the media, how the media operates and how they can have affect on your organisation. As a media relations person it is crucial to always meet your deadlines, failing this will often result in a missed opportunity and will wear as a stain on your professional credibility.

Furthermore, this link provides an article including some interesting and thoughful Public Relations Trends for 2010.

References:

McLean, H., & Phillipps, R.  (2009). Engaging With The Media. In J. Chia & G. Synnott, An Introduction to Public Relations: From Theory to Practice (pp. 299-331). South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Images sourced from:

http://www.cicsworld.org/blogs/nmulkarat/2009/12/keys_of_success.html

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