March 31st, 2023 | Alex

Media Relations in a Digital Age

As a society, we’re constantly consuming information, news, comment pieces and more via media outlets. This means that businesses, live events and brands rely heavily on the media to drive brand awareness, connecting them with their target audience.

Brands need to stay one step ahead, regularly reviewing and adapting their media relations strategies based on current trends and consumer behaviours if they want to achieve real cut-through.

The digital age and explosion in popularity of social media platforms as news platforms has brought about a rapid and noticeable change to media relations, giving brands more control over their own narrative. Brands can craft their own content, achieving a quick and effective share of voice online.

And while this has been transformational, media outlets still have the capability to influence how your story is being told. This is why a strong digital media relations strategy is instrumental to campaigns, whether you’re running a live event or heading a Fortune 500 company.

Let’s take a look into how things have changed and see if we can figure out what the future holds for press and media relations in a fast-paced digital world.

What is Media Relations?

Media relations refers to the concept of bridging the gap between media outlets and businesses. The main aim of a media relations strategist, or PR professional, is to leverage their contacts in the media industry and build new ones, crafting smart and engaging pitches and generating exposure and coverage for their clients.

A media relations specialist will relay your business’s unique selling points (USPs), objectives, key messages and goals to the media. Communicating these successfully reinforces brand values, helping your business stand out and create greater brand awareness through smart PR.

Digital Media Relations vs Traditional Media Relations

Digital media relations has completely revolutionised how we digest and distribute media. The digital age has given life to an influx of new media outlets which serve more niche communities, interests, genres and more.

Newer media outlets have grown their audience by utilising various online platforms like blog sites and social media. The opportunity this has presented to media relations specialists is priceless.

Beneficial working relationships are easier than ever to establish with these new-age media sites that can be reached through direct messaging, or simply commenting on their social media posts, for example. The process is faster, in the same way that the online world works at lightning speed, allowing you to get your message to the right people in a fraction of the time!

Let’s not discount traditional media. There’s still a real rationale for targeting print media, too. There are still millions of people picking up their weekend paper and delving into the supplements. And magazines in print continue to gain the attention of droves of readers – you’ll note that they maximise online, too, sharing sneak peeks of their print content on social media or their magazine’s online counterpart.

The Role of Social Media in Media Relations

With social media being at the forefront of the media industry, companies need to have an effective media relations strategy that also considers social media.

More and more people rely on social media platforms to get their news. As a result, every news outlet will put a huge emphasis on publishing newsworthy content. This is fast news for consumers who scroll through social media at pace. So it must stand out from the rest, enticing the reader to click through to the full article.

As you can imagine, the implications of this from a media relations standpoint are huge. Some relatively new media companies have managed to amass millions of followers which tower over some long-standing, more traditional outlets.

LADbible is a prime example. Now a household name, this beast of a media brand started from very humble beginnings. They published their first article on Facebook as a one-man band in 2012 and it became an instant hit by attracting over 70,000 viewers. Their content was engaging, succinct, visually interesting and funny, achieving viral status in no time.

Now LADbible is a leading media brand, easily attracts millions upon millions of monthly viewers, numbers that dwarf most media outlets. Not bad considering setting up a social media account costs nothing!

Negative Press and Its Implications

There is a huge upside of digital and social media public relations for brands, but also a potential downside.

It is paramount that the right image is presented to the media at all times. Any sign of uncharacteristic, untrustworthy, or unethical behaviour could lead to media outlets publishing content that questions a brand’s reputation and credibility.

The thing about a reputation is that it takes a lifetime to build and in a matter of seconds it can be questioned. A risk that comes part and parcel with living in today’s society.

So when making decisions as a brand, never forget that your actions have consequences. Negative stories can spread virally on social media, and you may need some effective crisis communications management via your PR team to navigate carefully through it.

The Future of Digital Media Relations

In the past decade or so, media relations has changed exponentially.  

Advancements in digital media show no sign of slowing down, with talk of Web3 and the Metaverse.

Many industry experts predict that the consumption of virtual content will continue to grow, opening up a wide range of fresh opportunities for media distributors.

One thing is for certain, media relations are still vitally important for businesses to thrive, especially in a fast, digital age.

At GALA PR, our media relations strategies are forward-thinking are extremely effective due to the experience and contacts that we have and continually nurture and build.

If you have a brand, business or live entertainment event that you want to publicise, we can do so using omnichannel creative strategies, making sure you’re reaching the most relevant audience that will resonate with your event.

Contact us today to find out more!