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What Is Media Relations?

Media relations jobs can involve the writing and distribution of press releases.
Media relations can involve a company representative interacting with the media.
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  • Written By: Britt Archer
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2014
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The term “media relations” refers to a business or organization's relationship with professional journalists or media outlets. Similar to public relations, this department works on building a rapport with these venues in order to communicate the organization's goals, ideas, intent and newsworthy events. The term "public relations" is often considered a synonym for media relations, but it is not, since public relations is a more general department.

Public relations is different in that information is not just released or available to journalists, but the general public overall. Some companies choose to focus on this broader public relations approach rather than try to build a relationship with the media specifically. This is a decision entirely up to the company or organization.

A business or company may have just one person working with the media, or they may hire outside help from one of the many firms in existence. People working in the field may work for a consulting firm, as a part of a company, or as a freelance or independent contractor. Media relations firms employ many highly skilled individuals.

The first step toward building effective media relations is to build a plan. This plan outlines the elements needed to build a relationship with local, regional and national news outlets. It also specifies how this will be done, the image the organization intends to portray, and other noteworthy events that may tie into the company's goals.

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Media relations can involve the writing and distribution of press releases. People who work in this field must deal with members of local media organizations and hold press conferences. A department might work closely with an advertising department or agency to maximize the potential outcome of a release, or to find the correct target audience for a company's press releases.

A company's media policy is generally decided by the most senior members of an organization as well as the media relations team. The policy doesn't just affect those at the top of the corporate food chain. It might require employees or members of a group to speak with management before speaking to members of the press about company issues or events.

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Discuss this Article

animegal
Post 3

A media relations officer sounds like an interesting job to have. Can someone tell me what kind of schooling and experience you would need to get this kind of position?

lonelygod
Post 2

I think hiring a good media relations person is essential for a business to be successful at promoting itself. Those in the field have a huge number of contacts and can make sure that your message and name reach the public through the media in an efficient and effective manner.

Has anyone ever had experience working under a media policy before?

I am curious to know what kind of rules would be put in place for employees.

wander
Post 1

I remember working at a mall and when they were shooting a news story in the building they had a media relations worker out helping with the news crew.

Some of the employees were asked to speak on camera and they had to go through the media relations person for some coaching before they were allowed to speak on camera.

I find it interesting how even something as simple as a shopping mall wants to make sure it is portrayed in a certain light. I would say that media relation professionals are akin to a movie director, assigning roles and making sure everyone says their lines correctly.

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