Public relations and the media – an introduction for arts and cultural marketers
A general introduction to core press and PR topics for the cultural sector, aimed at supporting marketers and artists working in the arts.
What is media relations?
Media relations is the process of managing your organisation's relationship with the media (newspapers, radio, television etc) to establish a positive understanding of your role and promote your work, with the aim of obtaining editorial coverage as part of a publicity campaign.
What is public relations?
Public relations, similarly, is the process of managing your organisation's relationship with its public or, more specifically, its stakeholders (funders, customers, suppliers, potential customers etc). Public relations, generally, also supports the success of marketing and publicity campaigns.
Media relations and public relations are not the same thing although you may use media relations as part of your public relations strategy.
The media communicate with the public on a daily basis. Managing your organisation's relationship with the media can therefore bring valuable benefits to your organisation and, most immediately, free editorial coverage that develops the awareness of your role or publicises specific events or activities.
Media coverage can include event listings, reviews, features and news coverage. Event listings can benefit your publicity campaigns and reviews can promote sales or provide valuable quotes for future publicity. This guide concentrates on managing news and features coverage.
Broadly, therefore, to generate media coverage you need a newsworthy story (something topical and relevant to the audience) otherwise the news media will not cover it. Features also need to be topical and relevant to the media outlet and its audience.
The media includes local, regional and national newspapers, general interest and specialist publications, local and national radio and television, and general interest and specialist websites.