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Bivins warns of the pitfalls when dealing with the influential entity that is the media, stating the media is a 'powerful force' (2008, p. 65). It is vital that relationships between public relations practitioners and the media are managed appropriately and effectively in order to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. Outline, with academic sources to support your arguments, the specific ways in which Media Relations managers appropriately and effectively manage the media to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
Social media bridges the gap between the virtual world and the physical world. Earlier, there were telephones and then television; now we have Facebook and Twitter. Media is a powerful force. It has the power to influence our culture and the way we look at ourselves (Peter 2004). Similarly, media relation is also a powerful tool for influencing as well as changing the behaviour. It serves as a third-party endorsement for an organization, service, product or issue (Waters, Tindall & Morton 2010). Instead of using direct forms of communications like direct marketing or advertising, communicating with the media provides better and valuable outcomes or credibility (Waters, Tindall & Morton 2010).
Media relation is an activity that involves direct liaising with the people producing the news. The aim of media relations is to maximize positive coverage directly through advertising without paying for it (Johnston 2007). They have the control to select the news which is of interest to the media and, in turn, is of interest to their audience. It is a big challenge to know what the media wants.
Media Relations and Public relations are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Media relations describes a company's interaction with the journalists or editors, whereas Public relations is the way of communicating and connecting through all relationships that an organization has formed with the public like employees, investors, government entities, customers, suppliers, charities and media (Johnston 2007).
Role of media relations in public relations- When an organization needs to share its information with the public or to curb down its negative angle, PR professionals come into action. PR professionals deal with the journalists in several media houses to get their client's coverage done in print, electronic or online media (Macnamara 2010). PR experts need media for their client's launch of new service or product, the launch of organizations’ promotional activities or campaigns, accolades or awards of the company, initiation of new outlets, sponsored events, company dignities, visits of celebrities, involvement in social activities, recent organizations’ closure, disaster or strikes (Watson & Noble 2014).
The role of media relations is to cover these issues and make your organization attractive for the media (Johnston 2007). They enhance the possibility of developing news interest in the issues or organization. The media relation managers reach the audience through their traditional media outlets as well as new social media platforms like blogs, Twitter, Facebook. This way, they can convey or Share the company’s story, new ideas and opinions, which may shade the audience's interpretation of ways they see, hear or read, influencing their opinions. They play a crucial role during the crisis by crafting a statement regarding the company. Hence, their sole objective is to create good and positive coverage for the clients of the PR without paying anything (Peter 2004).
It is tough for PR professionals to deal with media people because it involves many challenges. Hence, to ensure a positive relationship, they have to be familiar with the beats they cover and utilize this opportunity to drop in introducing themselves and their clients with them (Watson & Noble 2014). They maintain a media list compiling various magazines, electronic, newspapers and online media in order to contact the specific media people sharing the press releases with them to do the coverage.
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