Media relations, or public relations, includes those aspects of communications that appeal to a broad audience or audiences. Meeting the informational needs of audiences is key in today’s fast-past, information-driven world.
Examples of media relations are as follows:
Social media blasts — A blast sent via popular social media is perceived by the public as urgent or newsworthy information. Such blasts can announce timely political information, world events, catastrophic events, financial information, sports updates, etc. Oftentimes, these blasts are written to evoke immediate emotional action, such as the desire to vote for a certain candidate, pay attention to a current event, purchase a certain type of financial product, or root for a specific team. And, it is typically assumed that such blasts will be re-posted for even more visibility, readability, or popularity.
Some organizations hire full-time media specialists specifically for the purpose of announcing information via social media. These specialists are aware of which social media vehicles are appropriate for certain audiences and tailor their communications to fit the needs of their audiences. Other organizations outsource this function and hire free-lancers on an as-needed basis to provide concise and timely informational blasts.
Press releases — A press release is usually and traditionally a written statement to the media. It typically announces something that is “newsworthy,” such as a scheduled events, new products and services, personnel promotions, awards, sales achievements, etc. Press releases can also be used to generate a timely feature story, white paper, or other business-related document.
White papers — A white paper is sometimes included under the media relations umbrella. It typically serves as a business document that outlines new product or service offerings. It can also serve as a position paper, depicting where an organization is taking a stance on a business or economic decisions. A white paper is longer than a press release and it can be used as a source document from which press releases, blogs, newsletter articles, and other communications can be developed.
Media kids — A media kit or a press kit is typically a “package” of communications materials, including a press release (that briefly summarizes the newsworthy communications), a white paper (that elaborates on the communications), and biographical data about the leaders who are promoting the communications. A media kit can also contain a schedule of events, a consumer response card, or other types of communications.
Public events — A public event, held for a specific reason or cause, is a gathering place for media personnel. Typically these events, such as political rallies, result in positive attention for the subject of the event. Participants oftentimes receive some type of communications “takeaway” from these events, such as a press kit to lapel pins to writing pens, etc. These types of promotional products are popular for engaging with the public.