It’s no secret that public relations and the media work hand in hand. PR professionals rely on media outlets to be heard, and the media relies on public relations for shareable content. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a bit of tension between the two.
PR professionals must constantly be on top of the latest news and trending topics within their client’s field of experience and practice. They’re in charge of sharing news and information about their client in the most compelling and positive way possible.
The media both relies on and feeds off these client reports, and if the story falls flat, they will look for better information or a different story. That’s where things can take a turn for the worse.
Media outlets are constantly looking for interesting content, anything to attract the interest of the public, even if it doesn't represent companies in a good light. If a PR professional’s client runs into trouble, the media can take stories and spread them like wild fire.
Misunderstandings, misinformation, and trying to hide important information can lead to the VERY PUBLIC unveiling of scandal possibly distorted facts. With modern technology, word travels fast, and one mistake can tarnish a career. To avoid this, PR pros have to foster good relationships with media outlets and remember that honesty is key.
PR professionals know that working with the media can be either extremely beneficial or extremely detrimental to brands. Hoping for a beneficial relationship, professionals walk a strict line of what’s okay and what’s not okay to publish on a daily basis. They want the best for their client, even in times of crisis.
Though the relationship between media and public relations is sometimes strained, they ultimately have the same goal. In a 2011 article, Rosanna Fiske, CEO of Public Relations Society of America at the time, wrote that, “both groups want to reach the public with good stories and information people can use to improve their lives.”
The relationship between the media and PR is extremely important and is imperative in educating and entertaining the public. There cannot be one without the other.
Paige Koziol is a senior studying Advertising and Public Relations at Grand Valley State University. The 2017-2018 school year is her second year with PRSSA and her first with GrandPR. Even though she is incredibly excited to graduate in April 2018, she can’t wait to spend her last semester in GrandPR. She is sure it will offer her valuable knowledge and experience that will not only prepare her for the real world after graduation, but guarantee she succeeds. She loves being outside, so in her free time she likes to travel around looking for new spots to hike, kayak, and camp!