When we say ‘media relations’, what do you think of? If you watch a lot of TV shows, you might think it’s a job in the police service to communicate with the press about cases. If you’re in business, you might think it’s basically the same thing as PR. Or you may have just heard the term come up in conversation, but not really know what it means. Don’t worry, all of us started somewhere, and media relations is a very specific area of marketing that many businesses don’t consider for the first few years of life. But what exactly is media relations, and is it something your business really needs?
What Is ‘Media Relations’?
From the outside, media relations and public relations can look very much the same. But if we look at the official definition of media relations, the purpose suddenly becomes a lot clearer:
‘Working with media for the purpose of informing the public of an organisation’s mission, policies and practices in a positive, consistent and credible manner.’
So, media relations is all about creating and nurturing those close relationships with the media, and using them in order to promote your business. Your company may use multiple media outlets to tell your story, anything from TV to magazines, radio, and even newspapers. By harnessing the power and wider reach of media outlets, you can achieve greater influence and increased trust with potential customers.
Now, you might be asking ‘how is this any different from PR?’ – which would be understandable, and thankfully easy to explain. Because while the core purpose is similar – they manage the relationships between your company and a third party – the target is different. In PR, you’re dealing with the public and your audience directly. If your business is providing information designed to influence a person’s behaviour, for example convincing them to buy or to visit your shop, then you are conducting Public Relations – or PR. But media relations is focused on your company’s interactions with the media, so it’s a step removed from the direct audience, but it can have much more of an impact. In other words, media relations is all about getting your message (and your ROAR) heard by as many people as possible, by using the media.
What are the benefits of Media Relations to Business?
Just like any marketing effort, media relations can be incredibly successful and beneficial for your business – if you’re willing to invest your time and effort into it properly. Getting press coverage for your business can be revolutionary, especially if you’re a younger business struggling to break into a particular market. Using media relations in your marketing could bring your business a lot of different benefits, and the great thing is your approach can be tailored to your business goals. However, here are some of the top benefits any business could see by using media relations:
Building Brand Awareness
First and foremost is the fact that getting your company name in the media will dramatically increase your brand awareness. Media relations helps get your business name out into the wider public consciousness, and gives you the chance to inform them about what you do, why you do it, and why you’re the best at what you do.
Customers expect a company to toot their own horn and say they are the best – it’s a given in marketing. This is why having any form of third-party validation can go a long way to converting on-the-fence prospects. Third-party endorsements are a great way to establish your reputation in the market and build confidence in your audience before they buy – and it’s part and parcel of having media coverage. After all, the media will only choose to run stories they think their audience would find interesting, which lends a lot of credibility to your business straight away.
Like any form of marketing, all roads should lead back to your website. Press coverage of any kind usually generates a significant increase in branded searches on Google – people who are searching specifically for your business name. This is only natural, as people want to learn more about you after seeing your name in the press. Similarly, you will probably also notice an increase in social media following. The right press coverage can generate a huge influx of traffic to your website, increase your social media following and boost your SEO rankings at the same time.
Of course, the real winning recipe is a strong mix of good PR and good media relations. By reaching out to your target market both directly and through the media you’re essentially doubling your chances of making an impression and turning prospects into customers. Media relations can be a strong factor in building brand awareness, increasing credibility and authenticity, and most importantly establishing relationships with prospective customers. At Lion Spirit Media, we work closely with you to connect your business to journalists, bloggers, and editors, so that you can get your story out to the masses via relevant media outlets, using our media relations service. With our connections and know-how, our team can help you connect with customers and others in your industry. If you’d like to know more, just get in touch with us today to book your free, no-obligation consultation.