In all my years of being the mouthpiece of the organisations I have worked with, and being the intermediary between the organisation and the media, what I have relished the most is, media relations (I can proudly claim to have earned some true friends in media thanks to this). I feel there is a need for organisations to wake up to the realisation that a regular and relevant outflow of information to media is important.
It is of utmost importance for corporate houses to maintain good and healthy relations with media. There are various things pertaining to an organisation that need to be talked about or sometimes to be curbed down. It may be any activity or announcement that needs to be made public.
Like the way a Communications resource works as intermediary between a business house and the media, similarly, media also acts as an intermediary between an organisation and its target audience. It creates awareness for the organisation and has the ability to create a positive impact for the chosen audience.
Unfortunately, many organisations are not media friendly and like to hold on to their information, which, at times goes against them. They fail to realise that gaining positive and consistent coverage in media can create an incredible image about their work. This in turn, results in creating a big impact for them.
The various forms of media – print, electronics, and lately, social media – disseminate information which results in spreading a story more extensively than it could be spread without media coverage. There are so many varied forms of media present that it is easy for an organisation to select the more relevant ones for their purpose. A big benefit of media coverage is that it is free which works well for any organisation. Only investment is time spent on building media relations through various mediums and time spent on regular information updates to media, willingness to speak with them or to be interviewed by them. The Communications resource of an organisation plays the most vital role in putting together all of this. Gaining coverage in the media is a great way of providing an organisation with greater credibility and that has a lot to do with the thought processes of the public which monitors media regularly. The attitude of most media consumers is driven by the fact that if a story gets into the pages of a newspaper, or on TV, then it is important and worth taking notice of.
Media coverage boosts your profile in the community, by which you may be able to attract more clients. It creates a brand around an organisation. Having a media profile also helps an organisation/individual to get noticed by decision makers, influencers and government. This further leads those decision makers or government to ask for the organisation’s input or opinion on relevant matters. A very significant power of media is to be able to shape opinions. So, an organisation should actively seek out positive publicity through positive media coverage. A word of caution here! Any positive opinions generated from positive media coverage can be reversed by negative opinions generated through negative media coverage. So one must have a plan in place if a media crisis unfolds.
All this requires a Communications specialist. They should be able to create and nurture their organisation’s positive reputation in media and in public per se. To build better relationships with the media, organisations must cultivate positive relations with influential members of the media. This task is of extreme delicacy and importance and must be handled very carefully by the Communications specialist.
In a nutshell, it is imperative for corporate houses and communications specialists, both alike to consistently work towards a healthy and sincere working relationship with media. Media is a very important entity.
The views expressed here are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of Reputation Today.