Will good media relations really save your life? We’ll see!

Once, in a Work in Progress session, a senior consultant at Praxis said, “One of the most important things in public relations is to build good relations with journalists.” This is so true!

Working as a public relations officer for these past several months has been enriching for me and I have been fortunate enough to work with different clients, managing their high profile events. I also have had the opportunity to meet great people and great media. The media play a very important role in the communication industry because they will get our messages across a wide audience and help us build a better image of our industry.

One of the things I have learned so far from the public relations industry is that an effective media list, supported by strong media relations, is very important to gain huge media coverage of the events we organize. We should know the industry, the news context we provide, the right media and journalists. Gaining huge coverage in prominent media will be as easy as a flip your hand if only you have a really good relationship with the media.

As public relations people, we have to consider issues that are of interest to the general public and that may have a bigger chance of getting published. We have to understand what they actually need to write the stories. Most people are fascinated by things that may affect their lives, now or in the future, and we have to fulfill their needs for newsworthy stories. We have to create newsworthy press releases, making sure they are supported by well-researched data, and tap into current issues.

Besides media relations, an effective media list is an important foundation for gaining media coverage in print outlets, TV and radio programs. The process of building a media list allows you to consider who will be receiving your news and how you may approach each journalist to ensure that they are interested in our news. We also have to plan our events really well to ensure their success and huge coverage by prominent media.

Before D-Day, we have to make good preparation using the media docs, media list, and detailed event information because we obviously want to turn up prepared as host of the event we organize for our client. We also have to know the audience. When we manage a media centre, we expect hundreds of journalists to attend, but you have to make sure that every single journalist and media outlet suits your client’s needs. It is important to know as much as possible about the people who attend our events. Having good media relations will have a huge influence on whether or not an event will run well.

That’s how I feel about having good media relations – sometimes I can’t really define it but when I meet journalists face-to-face, I realize that good media relations matters.

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