The reality is of course much happier. Good and ethical public relations is about mutually beneficial partnerships with the media, leading to the sharing of quality content with the public.
So, to what extent is what you read, hear or view in the media the product of public relations tactics?
The complexity of modern public relations makes this a difficult question to answer. Some research has suggested that up to 80 percent of media coverage is influenced by public relations; however, this is very much up for debate.
Here are some factors to consider when examining the influence of public relations on the media.
Collaboration is key
Good public relations involves reciprocal relationships between journalists and public relations practitioners.
Public relations practitioners work collaboratively with journalists on story ideas, facilitate media opportunities, and provide journalists with spokespeople and content. Journalists gain as they have access to more information, sources and background to build a story. Brands gain as they are given the opportunity to tell their story in the media.
When done well, public relations influences what is covered in the media without compromising on journalistic integrity.
Journalism is changing
Journalism has undergone significant change in the last decade. Budget and staff cuts mean there are now less senior journalists and fewer resources. With the growth of online, the demand for information has increased, which means a bigger burden on journalists’ time.
Public relations practitioners support journalists by saving them time, providing access to information and facilitating opportunities.
Journalists are approached by public relations people all the time. It would be impossible and undesirable for every story idea to get covered. Journalists consider each opportunity, the timeliness and newsworthiness, and provide their own perspective.
Social media has changed the media landscape
Social media puts the creation of content in the hands of brands, public relations practitioners and the public. In many cases social media sidesteps journalists, as information can be created and delivered by anyone and everyone.
However, social media also makes the job of a journalist easier. The immediacy of news via social media ensures that journalists always have access to timely information. Stories in the media are also frequently shared via social media by individuals and brands.
In the end, it is clear public relations has considerable influence with the media, but to predict to what extent is difficult and perhaps even unnecessary. The reality is that good and ethical public relations is reciprocal; it’s about productive relationships and shared influence which lead to great stories for the public.
Contact CP Communications today and find out how we build great relationships with journalists to secure media coverage for your business.
Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.