Importance of Media Relations

Modern era is the one of start-ups where everyday one hears of a new venture being launched. Some start-ups are well-funded whereas others are boot-strapped. To gain publicity, and to be known, they all depend a lot on good press and this is where media relations come into focus. Press relations can help small businesses replace more expensive advertising campaigns, so they deserve some nurturing and attention.

Press articles talking about a company’s products or services in a positive light lend credibility and clout to that company. All this can be done by maintaining Media Relations which emphasises the importance of retaining certain control when it comes to a company’s contact with the media. This results in small businesses maintaining long-term relationships with the media professionals so that they are able to bag advantages in the future.

With good media relations, a company finds it easy to pitch for press coverage. It is vital to maintain professionalism when developing a rapport with the media. However, by adding a bit of friendliness to the professionalism, you end up striking a long lasting relationship with the journalist who would be ever ready to discuss your pitches in the future.

While maintaining valuable media relations, a start-up must be careful about maintaining deadline of a story. Also, as most of the media uses internet to do their research, it is extremely vital for a start-up to have a PR-friendly website.

While approaching a journalist, a small business must have their pitch in writing, and dedicate a blog post to it so that they can send press and media professionals to it via links on social media. The pitch must include all the relevant information. If there is something that should not be reported by media, it can be shared as ‘off the record’ information. It is important to understand that when dealing with the media, it is extremely important to be truthful because being exposed for not telling the truth by the media could create a PR disaster.

Start-ups must also give their perspective on their type of industry and must offer quotable quotes to media for any story of relevance. This is a great medium to be known and to create awareness about the brand.

What is also important is to be timely. Media works on deadlines, and they might need to follow up with the business. So the business leader must be accessible. There is every likelihood of the story getting run when a reporter is up late working on a deadline and the corporate crowd may not be accessible.

Providing an exclusive to one media contact helps drive a story or news. Traditionally, this sounds like something that an established big organisation does, but offering an exclusive can be the start-up’s ticket to receiving all the press they need from just one source. Journalists may have a soft spot for start-ups. The latter must show the media a personality. This can be nurtured over time through social connections and by offering personal comments and anecdotes.

Provide media with all types of pictures of the start-up, to have a better hold on them and for their better understanding of the business. So keep a good photo stock readily available to be shared with media.

Start-ups must keep themselves ready for media and for publicity, to be talked about. Maintaining good media relations is the key. Do not compromise on that. Be accurate, be timely, be accessible, be informative, be honest, be passionate about the business.

Ritu Bararia
Ritu is a Corporate Communications leader, Mentor, Author, Public Relations Evangelist, Thought leader, Advisor. She has nearly two decades of working experience having spearheaded Communications, PR and Corporate Affairs with corporate brands such as Kingfisher Airlines, The Park Hotels, Bird Group.

She quit her corporate career in the beginning of 2018 to try her hand at various related things within communications space. She turned into a published author in 2020 with her maiden book ‘Little Joys of Communication’.

Currently Ritu is Senior Director at SCoRe and, Executive Director Communicators Guild – India (CGI).

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