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What is Press relations?

Press Relations refer to the set of tasks that consist of creating, managing, and ensuring a positive relationship between an organisation or an individual with various media outlets for the purpose of reputation management. These media organisations include but are not limited to; print media (newspapers and magazines), broadcast media (radio and television), outdoor or out of home media, and internet media (online newspapers, online news magazines, news blogs, news videos, and live streaming sites).

This involves working with the press in order to spread the organization’s message or mission across to the public in a credible way. The terms press relations, media relations and public relations are often used interchangeably, however, press relations solely focus on the relationship between an organization and journalists. Press relations extend beyond the press to reach the public, therefore, these two terms cannot be used interchangeably. Either side can initiate communication between press and organizations.

There are a few challenges associated with press relations. News/Press media is an outlet that cannot be controlled as they have the final word on pitching stories to their audiences. This is why press relations are extremely important. Organizations must maintain a healthy relationship with the news media to get their desired message across to the general public.

How do professionals engage in this?

Practitioners often try to get acquainted with the areas of interests for the different press outlets. Organizations will draft up a press or media list of outlets that may be interested in the organization’s issues. This press or media list includes but is not limited to magazine outlets, newspaper and broadcasting stations. When a newsworthy event occurs in the organization, a press/media list will help the organization determine which press outlets might be interested in that particular story. A good relationship with press outlets will help organizations bring awareness to particular updates within the company, the launching of products and services as well as create an impact in their target audience. It also provides the organization access to large as well as small “niche” target groups.

Organizations reach out to press outlets for the sole purpose of creating awareness around new products/services, new offices, financial results, sponsored events etc and gaining earned media. Organizations can relay this news through information subsidies like press releases, advertisements or videos of the news event. Information subsidies save journalists time and money; however, journalists will only utilize information subsidies if they trust the source and the content produced.

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