As channels of communications develop, the lines between Public relations and Media relations are becoming seemingly blurred. Many companies often mistake public relations for media relations; even PR pros use it interchangeably as they see PR and MR as one.
This reminded me of an adage my geometry teacher told us while in secondary school. The adage goes thus, “all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares”. He further explained that squares are a unique type of rectangle, one where all sides have the same length but can never be a rectangle.
Public relations, in this case, is the rectangle that could be seen as strategic communication, in whose function seeks to build and manage the reputation of Organisations or individuals using different activities. On the other hand, Media relations is a part of these activities, as it solely focuses on the relationship between the firm and the media.
PR encompasses much more than media relations, as it uses multiple channels and strategies to generate public awareness of which media relations plays a key role. PR helps build mutual relationships between the company and its publics using different methods; going to the media is one of them.
Another function of public relations is to shape or craft the message; they help a band figure out their story, what to say, how to say it, and who to say it to. Media relations then give the platform in which this story could be distributed to the right audience.
Public Relations success is not entirely tied to media relations as some campaigns or events run successfully without involving the media. Although getting a placement in media could be of great advantage, other channels like engaging social media influencers, bloggers and other B2B tools are inclusive in the winning story of PR.
Working with the media has been and will continue to be a great part of PR. Even as the tools and channels of communication change due to the advancement of technology, one thing is certainly not going to change, and that is MR being a part of Public relations. Know that a part can never be a whole.