No, media relations are not dead…

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No, media relations are not dead…

Internet and its social networks, its influencers, its bloggers, its robots… Organizations have today a remarkable plethora of new communication tools to speak and express themselves. It would therefore be easy to make the conclusion that press relations are outmoded.

Whether the strong advocates of total automation and the use of artificial intelligence in the communication of organizations and journalism like it or not, media relations are not dead.

Human contact is essential in this business where the relational allows building trust between communicators and journalists, finding the right target, anticipating or transforming a critical situation.

It is true that, for several years, we have found on the web a multitude of very different and innovative tools to create a press kit in one click, write and send it to a database of hundreds or even thousands of journalists. Why go then through a specialised agency and more a paying one? This legitimate question, our customers and partners ask themselves.

First of all, it is about thinking more “qualitative” than “quantitative”. The number of articles published, broadcast is only one indicator among others. Is there a great interest in having an article on an infamous and unknown news web site? Moreover, what credit do journalists give to a press
release sent by robots, without a word of explanation and without a contact to whom to ask questions? We must also put ourselves in the shoes of a journalist who receives dozens of press releases a day: perhaps by better targeting journalists according to his subject matter, we could save their mailbox a little, rather than sending ones press release to a mailing list that sends an email to everyone in an undifferentiated way …?

This being so, the matter is not about dismissing digital tools. They complement the painstaking work of media relations to, for example, measure their impact or even increase the desired effects. They cannot replace them but come to complete an offer whose foundation remains the relational and trust.

Media relations are thus built up over the months, years through contacts and exchanges with journalists and the media outlets. All this to have, a real impact enabling to offer real media coverage and of quality.

PR agencies perform careful and professional sorting work in their database to reach the right media and journalists and give them the information they need at the right moment, get interviews and exclusives, even help them out of any news. And they strengthen proposals on strategies, media training speeches, media monitoring…

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Marlytou Diallo