Till a few years ago, media relations was considered as the backbone of our profession.
Public relations companies were born with one major aim- to pass on the information about the company to the relevant media usually via media releases. As the profession evolved it became clear that public relations professionals are not just the carriers of information but also they are consultants and storytellers – beyond media relations. They are also not the people who ‘spin’ the stories, they are the ones who narrate existing stories creatively.
In recent times, we as public relations professionals have often agreed and ‘not’ debated that media relations is not everything that public relations has to offer. It is important yes, but not the backbone. I will not deny that Indian public relations space still consists of a few companies that act as delivery boys for media persons but the percentage of people following that practice is minimal now.
Public Relations professionals are consultants to their clients that help them craft their story to recite it to the world via various channels including media. Media, therefore is an important part of Public Relations but not everything. Brands are increasingly taking aid of social media, owned media and also various offline channels via use of technology to connect to their customers, not only media relations.
In today’s scenario it is important but not necessary for communications consultants to develop media relations. And relationship, whether, it is media or any other stakeholder, will be built quickly if there is weight in the story you want to tell. Which brings us to the core point-
if we are doing the right things, existing relationship or no relationship will not matter.
Your work will be automatically done and in return a healthy relationship will be formed. Public Relations consultants of today, therefore should primarily focus on telling an impactful story. And if the story is strong it will be a successful within any public relations tool- owned media, social media or earned media.
– Radhika Nandwani
Radhika is the Corporate Communications Advisor at Dell’s Performance Analytics Group. She started her career in 2011, with one of the leading public relations firms of India – MSLGROUP, specialising in technology brands. The campaigns executed by her while at MSL, have won several public relations industry awards including SABRE and PR Week Asia. In her last role, she was the founding team member and the marketing communications manager at SCoRe. Radhika is an English graduate and holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication. She loves reading and is passionate about gender equality, food and Bollywood. She can be reached at @RadhikaNandwani on Twitter and here on LinkedIn.