Media Relations involves working with media for the purpose of informing the public of an organization's mission, policies and practices in a positive, consistent and credible manner. Typically, this means coordinating directly with the people responsible for producing the news and features in the mass media.
What is media relations?
A large part of the public relations profession involves working with the media. Public relations seeks to the publicity that benefits. Mass media is the preferred channel for reaching out to the public because audiences view media coverage as more credible than traditional advertising or promotional efforts. Therefore, learning how to develop and manage relationships with reporters and editors is critical to your outreach strategy.
Media relations refers to the mutually beneficial relationship between journalists and public relations professionals. One of the biggest benefits for journalists is the easy access to story ideas and sources.
Reporters spend a large amount of time and effort gathering information in order to write a story. Working with public relations professionals cuts down on the time needed to look for sources and other information to validate an article’s content. Public relations practitioners benefit from media relations because it secures free publicity and promotion. By using media as a promotional tool, they are able to reach a large audience without high costs.
PR practitioners need to be the bridge between media and the organisation!
WHAT IS NEWS?
News is a type of media message that we think of as non-fiction and informative. It is an account of real events and issues in our world, our country, our city or our neighborhood that are considered important enough for many people to know about. We know that not everything that happens in a day is considered important enough to become news, even though it might be very important to you, your family, or your friends.
Events that make the news are typically things that don’t happen every day, and have a significance beyond one person’s personal life.
How to write a good news story
Writing headlines can be tricky. Too long and the reader will lose interest – too short and you’re not giving enough information away to tease the reader into the article. Fragment grammar is strongly suggested as writing a whole sentence can lessen the impact of the headline. It needs to be punchy, include the most important facts and convey what the story is about. A word of warning, be sure that a headline isn’t defamatory.
The opening of the news story is the most important bit. It should have impact to catch the reader’s attention and make them want to read on. It should be sharp and snappy but conform to regular sentence structure and grammar rules. It should be no longer than 25 words and must include: who, what where, when, why and how.
Put the most newsworthy information at the top
The newest and most significant information goes at the top of a news article, with the background or smaller details of the story nearer the bottom.
You don’t need to explain all the new information at the top, this isn’t always possible due to how long it would take, just so long as you mention it – you can explain it in full further down the article.
This is also helpful when it comes to cutting down the length of an article if it is too long because you know the paragraphs down the bottom of the article are the ones you can probably cut.
After your introduction, no sentence should be more than 35 words if possible. Also, in a news story each sentence should be a new paragraph.
The first quote in your story should ideally come in your fourth but no later than fifth paragraph. This is the perfect place to put a quote because it helps to balance the facts of the opening paragraphs with an emotive quote.
You should open a quote with the name of the person who made the statement, followed by their relevant title. For example: Mr. Sarkisian, the President of X orgnaisation, said: “We are excited by this new investment.”
Always use the word ‘said’ before your quote rather than a synonym such as ‘exclaimed’ or ‘announced’.
Ideally any article over 150 words will have quotes from at least two sources.