The Principles of Media Relations – secure a competitive advantage as well as a positive company image
The power of the media extends far beyond advertising. The Media decides which topics will be in the public eye and which will not. They set trends, contribute to the mood of society as a whole and shape public opinion. Someone who is not media savvy will most likely mismanage it in such a way that their company is not seen in a fair light. The ability to build and maintain good relationships with reporters, i.e. Media Relations, is an essential tool for executives. The involvement ranges from providing press information, to comments and public statements.
Thanks to mastering the tools of Media Relations, a manager can participate in media content and become an opinion leader in the field. Good relationships with journalists are especially indispensable in the case of needing to defuse crisis situations and maintain company goodwill.
Media Relations are one part of the complex process known as Public Relations, which can be taken care of in successful companies by keeping specialists or retaining external agencies. However, every manager should know these tools and how to apply them. For example, the basic MBA module includes the subject of Communication, which covers this area.
Does a Press Conference Pay Off?
The Press Conference (briefing or breakfast with journalists) is a commonly used method of informing the media about a new product, service or company activities. Leading representatives have the opportunity to formally present, as well as to informally talk with journalists. On the other hand, organizing such meetings is expensive and, unless you are a market giant, the efficiency of a Press Conference often will not meet the expectations.
Extremely busy journalists carefully choose what events are really worth attending, therefore it is necessary to lure them to something extra – a private interview with the foreign director of the company, the presence of a famous person, an interesting excursion and the like. If you have no such “bomb”, it is worth considering whether the standard distribution of a Press Release directly to the editors will not serve just as well, and with minimal costs.
A Press Release Must Not Be Boring!
A Press Release is a classic tool of firms and institutions to inform the media and public about their activities. This may relate to a new product, provided service or personnel changes in company management.
One must be aware, though, that journalists receive several Press Releases a day about the “achievement of amazing results”. Therefore it is necessary to differentiate oneself – suggest an interesting theme, offer an expert’s commentary, give results of research and analyses, ideally combine the Press Release with current events in public life.
If, for example, you are engaged in tax consulting and the deadline for filing tax returns is approaching, you can put together “10 tips to save on taxes”. If you deal with electronics, draw attention to yourself by a pre-Christmas report on the preferences of buyers in the course of the year. Is gastronomy your racket? Share a non-traditional recipe or findings of what Czechs love.
Importance of Personification
It is important that the company is presented by a strong personality and as such is profiled in Press Releases, comments and reactions. The opinions of experts in the field, top executives sharing practical experience on social networks or a company website, where a section “for the media” must not be absent, are medially attractive.
Successful mastery of the art of Media Relations then works both ways – journalists tend to remember a reliable contact with experience and knowledge in the field and turn by themselves to the cited managers to ask for cooperation on a prepared article. Such presentation in the media, outside of advertising space, is an integral part of the marketing strategy of successful companies.