The media includes all newspapers, magazines, television channels, radio stations, community newsletters, and online newspapers and e-zines, which is a publication distributed by e-mail or posted on a website.
Understanding the Media
Understanding the media means you can more effectively plan and implement successful communications.
The media aims to stimulate, interest and entertain its readers, listeners and viewers. But the media is big business and has to make money. The number of people who buy and read newspapers, and watch or listen to TV and radio has an impact on how much the media makes from selling advertising space. So it’s crucial the media provides content people will want to consume.
Although journalists are responsible for producing stories, it’s the editor who has final say on what ends up in the paper.
Journalists work to tight deadlines, especially news journalists, who will appreciate some consideration of their time pressures.
What are Media Relations?
Media relations is a specialist area of PR that focuses on promoting key messages about your organisation or cause through editorial coverage in the media. Editorial refers to the parts created by journalists, whereas advertisements and advertorials are paid-for sections.
Media relations can help:
- Raise media awareness of biodiversity which in turn raises awareness among your target audience
- Increase understanding of what you offer
- Create a positive profile of the organisation through good news stories and ongoing achievements
Media relations is an effective part of any communications plan because:
- Editorial tends to be ‘believed’ more than advertising
- Editorial provides scope to expand on topics and provide more in-depth information
- You can be more targeted with your communications
Editorial coverage is not guaranteed though. Even sending a news release to a journalist doesn’t mean coverage. This largely depends on how interesting it is, what else is happening in the area, how much editorial space is available and the stories you are competing with. Don’t be too disappointed if for any reason your story doesn’t make it to print/production – there’s always next time.
However, issuing news releases encourages local journalists to take an interest and it is worth regularly keeping them up to date.