As the business of Public Relations is evolving, and digital media & owned media are making place in the Public Relations plans, we as Public Relations professionals often question the importance of Media Relations in our work. And no matter what we say or do we cannot undermine the fact; that media relations exist very dominantly in our business. If you have at least two and half years of experience and you are looking for a job, the first question an interviewer will ask you is how strong your media relations in the particular beat are. When you are a part of a PR firm, managing a team of young professionals, you often think ‘How do I train my team to have media relations?’ Even during appraisals, the appraisal form has an important question pertaining to this segment of our work. But the important question to ask here is; can we really teach media relations to someone?
The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’ both. I say ‘no’ because relationship is something that comes very naturally – weather it is with friends, a romantic relation, or a work relation. There has to be a genuine interest that one person has in the other. It is based on the exchange of ideas, things, viewpoints and several other factors. And all these factors are not something you can teach a person. However, there is one aspect of a relationship that can be taught, I would call them smart tips and tricks for better engagement. And this is where I would answer my above question as ‘yes’. These tips and tricks come handy in managing relationships and not so much as building them or being totally dependent on them.
We at SCoRe conducted a programme ‘Mastering Media’ with journalist Rajyasree Sen that focused around these tips and tricks that come handy for a young professional in the business. The programme included topics like understanding the media universe; knowing which corporate/businessman owns which media house; things that you should and should not talk about with the journalist and so on. Training like this helps professionals target better, pitch better, and not waste their time on something that is never going to be useful.
The last mile, however depends on every individual to handle every relationship in an intelligent way.
– 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.