Media VS Public Relations: The Differences Explained

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Although the line between media and public relations can be a bit blurry at times there are some very clear differences. You may be wondering what those differences are and which route you should take to best fulfill your marketing needs. 

To learn more about the difference between these marketing methods discussed above, continue reading. 

Understanding The Differences Between Media And PR 

The world of marketing is complicated and gets even more confusing if you are unclear on the differences between media relations and public relations services. This article will help you to see why they can be easily confused but also how they are very different. 

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Different Marketing Objectives 

The largest difference between media relations and public relations is the reason people choose to use them. The purpose in which they are used is different. PR services are generally used when a business needs to make the public aware that they exist. 

Public relations services help to bridge the gap between a business/brand and its targeted demographic. While public relations often utilize media as a locomotive for attracting the attention it is not the only method used. 

Media, unlike PR, generally serves one purpose and that is to convey information to the public whether it is a public service announcement or an advertisement for the next best thing that is where the buck stops. 

Different Marketing Tactics 

As mentioned above media focus mainly on conveying information that is supplied to them by the business; therefore they are using a different set of avenues to attract the public’s eyes and ears. 

They are not focused on creating content or organizing events and other marketing aspects. Media generally refers to print, radio, or television advertising. Of course, we cannot forget, in this day and age, there is now a digital advertising category that stands on its own. 

Unlike media relations, public relations focus on uniting businesses or brands with their targeted demographic. They focus on finding and attracting the people who are most likely to be interested in that particular business or brand. 

PR agencies focus on cultivating a lasting positive reputation for the business or brand so they always look good in the public eye. 

miguel henriques RfiBK6Y upQ unsplash scaled 1PR agencies attract awareness to a business or brand by: 

  • Hosting various types of events
  • Provide media relations services
  • Provide damage control to a business’s reputation in the event of a crisis
  • Manage digital media marketing
  • Social media coverage and management on the right platforms

Other services may also be provided but this gives you a general idea of how they can be beneficial to a business or brand as well as how they are different from media coverage services only. 

Public Relations Goes Beyond Broadcasting Content

Another large difference between media and public relations is the fact that public relations reps are responsible for constructing the concept, content, creation, and execution of the story. 

PR is responsible for choosing the correct media avenues, release timing, and many other behind-the-scenes tasks to help boost and maintain a business reputation. 

In some ways, media relations has it easy, when compared to a PR agency’s many jobs because their main purpose is to broadcast already-made media for the public to view. 

They focus more on cultivating their relationship with businesses so they can market the already made content on the channels that best fit the content. 

Media relations nurtures its client relationships so they will continue using their stations to broadcast content but they are not responsible for other promotional aspects like a PR agency. 

Now that you have a better understanding of the differences between media and public relations you may be wondering which route would benefit your business or brand the most. 

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Media Relations VS Public Relations – Deciding Which Is Best For You

If you want to choose the best marketing avenue for your business or brand the section below can give you some tips to help you decide if you simply need a little advertising or a full-blown PR campaign.

What is the Age and Reputation of the Business or Brand?

Businesses or brands that are well established with a positive reputation may not need to utilize the services of a PR agency instead they may be able to focus their marketing budget solely on promoting new products and sales events.  

Well Established With Positive Reputation

If your establishment falls into this category then you can save a lot of time and money by building a relationship with media representatives and focusing on well-timed advertisements.

Just remember that even if you don’t need the full-time services of a PR agency you may still need to utilize a professional to help create your content whether it be video or print media. 

Viewers will take your business or brand more seriously if you have a high-quality video or well-designed print ad. People can tell if something is “homemade” so try not to skimp when it comes to creating your marketing content. 

New Beginnings or Damage Control

Conversely, if a business or brand is in the beginning stages or has perhaps suffered a blow to its reputation using public relations services can be a lifesaving tactic that is well worth the money and hard work. 

When you are just starting out it can be difficult to bring awareness to your business or brand, especially if other businesses are providing similar products or services. 

With so much competition it can be necessary to utilize the services of a PR agency to help build your name and reputation. 

Public relations can be extremely helpful if your business or brand has had any negative press that has hurt its reputation. They can help arrange press releases or events to promote the business or brand in a positive light. 

Media Versus PR – Closely Related With Distinct Differences 

As you can see it is easy to see why so many people use the terms media relations and public relations interchangeably. After reading this article you should be able to recognize the difference and have a better understanding of how they both work and how they can be beneficial to your marketing campaign. 

Written by Contributor
Sources:
(https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/media-vs-public-relations#:~:text=Differences%20between%20media%20versus%20public%20relations&text=So%20companies%20use%20media%20relations,promoting%20brand%20awareness%20and%20reputation.), 
(https://fearey.agency/public-relations-vs-media-relations/), 
(https://www.smartcapitalmind.com/what-is-the-difference-between-media-and-public-relations.htm), 
(https://everything-pr.com/public-relations-media-relations/), 
(https://fabrikbrands.com/media-relations-vs-public-relations/), 
(https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2021/11/05/marketing-versus-pr-what-do-you-need/?sh=157d79b177cb)

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