Many people use the terms public relations and media relations interchangeably; however, by doing so would be incorrect. While media relations refers to the relationship that a company or organization develops with journalists, public relations extend that relationship beyond the media to the general public.
Media Relations: In an organization, media relations are a powerful means for influence in change and behavior. Through this strategy, communication through a journalist provides valuable and desired credibility that other forms of communications cannot contest. Through media relation, practitioners work with media for the intent of informing the public of an organization’s mission, policies and practices in an affirmative, consistent and credible manner. Therefore, the objective of media relations is to make the most of positive coverage in the mass media without having to paying for it directly through advertising. Organizations often accumulate a media list, which is a list of potential media outlets that may be attracted in an organization's information. The media can consist of thousands of channels, such as: websites, online blogs, magazine publications, newspapers, and TV and radio stations, thus a media list can assist in deciding which media outlet may be the most pertinent for a specific story when a newsworthy event transpires in an organization. Working with the media on behalf of an organization allows for awareness of the entity to be raised as well as the ability to create an impact with a chosen audience. By working with media, this aids organizations in reaching both large and small target audiences as an effort to help in building public support and mobilizing public opinion. Through the purpose of media relations, subsidies are provided to the media to systematically allocate information on behalf of their client. Therefore, practitioners should be aware of their function in the information supply chain – and in order to serve their organizations, they must also serve their audiences. Supa & Zoch (2009), state that up to 90% of the information that practitioners for media relations provide is never used. Whether journalists use the given information is most likely reliant on a variety of factors, which include: the practitioner’s view about what is considered newsworthy, as well as the affiliation between the practitioner and the journalist. Thus, practitioners in media relations must take into consideration the needs of individual media means in distributing news, and recognize that each means may, in fact, “have individual needs or individuals values of what constitutes news,” (p. 6)
Theoretical Model of Media Relations:
According to Botan and Hazleton (2006), the concept of framing is defined as scheme of interpretation through which individuals organize and make…