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The Importance of Media Relations

By Jessica Epperly

By definition, media relations refers to a business’ or organization's relationship with professional journalists or media outlets. Similar to public relations, this idea works on building a rapport with media to communicate the organization's goals, ideas, intent and newsworthy events. Public relations is often considered a synonym for media relations, but in fact, it is not. Although most businesses and organizations keep their primary focus on building a stronger relationship with their public, it is just as important to build solid relationships with the media themselves.

Often times press releases are seen only as a tool for pitching news stories.  In some cases, organizations distribute press releases with the single intent of it being “picked up” by the media resulting in a published news article or broadcast segment. This is of course one benefit of issuing a press release, however, that’s not the only purpose. Even if your press release does not make tomorrow’s paper it does not mean that it was a wasted effort! Just like a journalist might randomly mention the brand Hershey in a general story about chocolate, press releases can help build your name and reputation amongst the media. By building and maintaining good media relations it will insure that, over time, your name will be top of mind when a relevant topic or news story hits.