Mng81001 Management Communication
Media relations are characterised as the media's involvement in informing the general public about the organisation's policies, mission, objectives, and practices credibly and consistently. In addition to this, it also means coordinating with the team and people who are handling the news and other media channels. This section covers the impact of media relations on a business, wherein a discussion on the evolution of the news and other media and the growth of the coverage of the business in the media is also elaborated. In addition to this, a small elucidation of how media helps build better relationships is done. The next part of this section covers structuring a successful media program and socialising the relations. Finally, the most important part is handling negative reviews from the media.
4.2. Issue 1: The rising influence of media
Media relation in business has become a quintessential part of the past few decades. In addition to this, businesses are making large profits by focusing on their media relations policies. As a result, media relations are significantly adding value to the business's bottom line. According to Copulsky& Wolf (2017), media relations are considered prominent, visible, and traditional of all the public relation functions. In addition to this, media in business plays a vital role for business entities. It acts as an information disseminator to a business' constituencies and has gained remarkable importance in the past few years. Public relations is the broader term used interchangeably with media relations in the business world. However, media relations is more about interactions with bloggers, journalists, reporters, editors, and other media personnel.
4.2.1. Business Coverage in Media
Damásio et.al, (2012)highlighted that every business needs a media relations department or they outsource this task to PR agencies. It is significant for enhancing and maintaining the brand's image and reputation in the customers' eyes, the general public and changing their perspective. In addition to this, it helps send a direct message to the investors and other stakeholders about the company's policies and decisions. This might help the company build trusted relationships with them and ultimately contribute to the company's bottom line. Furthermore, Duhé (2015) signifies media as the medium of event marketing. In an attempt to improve the company's image, the PR team of the company arranges the event and press conference. In addition, they arrange interviews of their top executives with the topmost media channels and journalists to highlight their brand and products or services. This is done regularly. Edwards(2012) discussed the functions of media relations in the research. Media relations are important for placing and pitching the stories in the top media channels. The main idea is to furnish the reporter with information about the company. However, the media relations team needs to execute their functions properly to avoid any discrepancies for the company. The team needs to read and digest every article covering the field of operation of the company and company. These might comprise online blogs and platforms. In addition to this, the business needs to research the current trend in media relations and what latest tools they are relying on to have better business coverage.
4.2.2. Building healthy relationships with the media
Business organisations' PR team makes efforts to improve relations with customers, investors, shareholders, and other stakeholders. Hence, it is important to build a relationship with TV, radio, local papers, and news desks. Businesses should realise that a healthy media-business relationship is one of the successful aspects of the modus operandi of business. Firms should build rapport to reap the benefits of nurturing healthy media relations. This consists of keeping the media channels in the loop of information sharing, like sharing the breaking updates and news related to the company in the first place. This can help create or establish a trusted bilateral relationship between the business and the media. Watson (2012) outlines the common mistakes an organisation should avoid regarding media relations. The first is the inability to understand the mindset of the media. The company should try to deliver the information they are seeking for the company's goodwill. The second most common mistake is a delay in responding to them. It has been seen that the company that replies in no time to the media personnel has a better relationship with them. In addition to this, the organisation should provide a clear statement instead of using jargon to avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding with the problem.
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4.3. Issue 2: Forming a Media Relation Strategy
The majority of the success of the product and service offered by the organisation depends on publicity. For better publicity of the business, nothing works better than media relations. Therefore, strong media relations can be a supporting factor for business organisations. However, many a time, this strategy does not work. Hence, it is important to discuss the issue of forming a successful media relation strategy.
4.3.1. Creating a Successful Media Relation Program
Undoubtedly, a well-worked media strategy can give a competitive edge to the company. The question is how to develop successful media coverage. Hinson(2012) gave certain guidelines for developing the best media relation strategy. The first and foremost strategy is setting up a strategic goal. The PR team should think about the key objectives needed to be accomplished by the media relation plan. In addition to this, one needs to consider the target audience for the success of the strategies. In addition to this, some pre-planning can help the PR team reach its objectives and expectations from the program. The next step is to seek the news and share it with the media personnel. The news can be regular, engaging and informative updates related to the organisation's partnership, joint venture, new policies, etc. These help in keeping the audience updated and engaged. The regular update will create a better brand image. The next most crucial part of the plan is developing the media kit. This include background information, employee's bio, product description, samples, press release document, and booklets. These should be relevant to the story they are telling.
4.3.2. Developing an Online Media strategy
This is new and is widely used by companies to publicise themselves in the target market. By using online media, businesses can engage their consumers in a wide variety of ways, develop new relations, Customer Relationship Management, and maintain the existing one. There is a proper plan for formulating online media. The first step is conversation mining. This is associated with the type of news and information the audience is looking for and the platform they are using with which they are most comfortable. In addition to this, the PR team should figure out their needs, issues, and opinions and how they can fit their value proposition in accordance with it (Johnston, 2014). The next step is identifying the goals and objectives of the strategy. This should be based on the company's goal of building trust and confidence among the followers and target audience. The last step is developing a plan and timelines. The main focus should be on the content as it decides the customers' engagement.
4.3.3. Handling the Negative News
Bad press happens to almost every big organisation. It could be false stories and poor facts provided by some inappropriate and illegitimate source. This might damage the image of the company. For that purpose, the PR team should be effective and proactive to take care of such incidents harming the company. Johnston (2014) suggested that the company should act fast in such cases. In addition to this, the company should address the employees, board, investors, shareholders, etc. If the company is at fault, it should release an apology statement in addition to this. This would help in reducing the impact of negative news. In addition to this, the company should show that it cares for the employees, communities and societies, and the environment. Finally, it should develop corporate social responsibility initiatives to counter the negative news.
Here, the importance of media relations for the business had been discussed, wherein the need and impacts of the media on the business had been outlined. It was mentioned that it is significant for enhancing and maintaining the brand's image and reputation in the customers' eyes. a discussion on the evolution of the news and other media and the growth of the coverage of the business in the media was done. In addition to this, how media helps in building better relations was done. The most important part was the handling of negative reviews from the media. It was discussed that the company should act quickly to negative views and media write-ups. The next section will talk about crisis management.
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