THE MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS ACTIVITIES NOTES

THE MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS ACTIVITIES

SUBTOPICS:

  • Definition of media
  • Media used in public relations activities
  • Factors influencing choice of media in public relations activities

 

MEDIA OF PR ACTIVITIES

Media relation is relationship that company or organization develops with journalists/media houses while PR extends the relationship beyond media to general public. Media involves collective communication outlets or tools that are used to store and deliver information to the public.

The major role of press relation is to achieve maximum publication and broadcasting of PR information in order to create knowledge and understanding.

MEDIA USED IN PUBLIC RELATIONS ACTIVITIES: AN OVERVIEW

RADIO

Electronic means of communicating that uses audio features

ADVANTAGES

  1. Its audio means commonly used since its readily available and cheaper compared to television.
  2. Programmes can be produced quickly and inexpensively
  3. Information can be available even in local languages.

DISADVANTAGES

  1. The listeners may lack any idea of how the product being advertised look like
  2. Network problems in remote areas
  3. Radio is a background medium. Most listeners are doing something else while listening, which means that your ad has to work hard to get their attention
  4. Loud music can cause sound pollution.

TELEVISION

Its electronic means of communicating that uses both audio and visual features.

ADVANTAGES

  1. There is complete information about the product i.e. both sound and the pictures.
  2. Its easily accessible in public areas e.g. hotels
  3. Delivery of the message is more convincing and appealing to the customers.

DISADVANTAGES

  1. Production of TV programs is time consuming compared to radio
  2. It’s expensive
  3. Problem of changes in technology
  4. Not easily accessible in rural areas without electricity.

BILLBOARDS

Refer to display of information which is eye catching at strategic places e.g. at roundabouts.

ADVANTAGES

  1. The information lasts for long.
  2. It’s cheaper compared to television adverts
  3. Involves words and pictures hence effective delivery of message.

DISADVANTAGES

  1. The information is limited to one area only.
  2. Threats from competing industries e.g. mutilating or destroying the billboards
  3. It accommodates less information compared to other mediums
  4. The passer-may lack to pay attention to the information.

E-MAIL (ELECTRONIC MAIL)

It’s a means which one person can exchange message with other people over the internet through use of computers or smartphones.

ADVANTAGES

  1. E-Mail message can be sent to the recipient mailbox at any time at sender’s convenience.
  2. It’s a fast means of delivering the message.
  3. E-mail information can be kept for long compared to information from phone calls.
  4. Records of e-mail message may be kept in electronic form therefore reducing filing problems and administration cost.

DISADVANTAGES

  1. Staff may waste time on non-productive e-mails
  2. Sometimes information that is more urgent may fail to reach the recipient on time due to delays as a result of internet problems.
  3. E-mails may not guarantee individual security on message due to challenge from internet hackers.

EXHIBITIONS

Involve creating awareness through demonstrations, films, video shows, road shows etc.

ADVANTAGES

  1. Exhibitions are open to a large and sometimes different range of audience which provides a platform to promote products and services to a large population.
  2. Being involved in exhibitions can provide one with opportunities to branch out to business partnerships and create customer database
  3. Quick feedback is received on general opinion about the product through interacting with customers.

 

DISADVANTAGES

  1. Trade-shows and exhibitions require pre-arrangement on time hence are time consuming.
  2. Travelling and setting up expenses may be costly e.g. hiring vehicles, tents, public address etc.
  3. Stiff competition on demonstration from those offering similar services.
  4. Free samples and displays are costly.
  5. Targeting the wrong audience may be more expensive than expected benefits i.e. if the target audience does not reciprocate positively.

BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVENESS OF DELIVERING PR MESSAGE

  1. Wrong choice of medium– All media have their merits and demerits hence unsuitable medium may fail to deliver the information appropriately.
  2. Physical barriers-e.g. poor roads, insecurity may hinder timely and efficiency of message delivery.
  3. Language barrier– It contributes to lack of common understanding between the sender and recipient of message.
  4. Psychological barriers-They results from social problems e.g. attitude, resistance to change, poor retention of message, closed mind etc. hinder efficiency of message.

SOLUTION TO ENSURE EFFECTIVE DELIVERY OF PR MESSAGES

  1. Choosing appropriate channels that will deliver information effectively.
  2. Good relations with public which facilitate reduction of message resistance.
  3. Communication should be well planned in order to reach the targeted audience.
  4. Right choice of language in order to facilitate understanding i.e. avoiding language barriers
  5. Avoiding negative pre-judgement of message.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHILE CHOOSING THE MEDIA TO USE

  1. Cost-one should consider the media which is more cost effective in order not to affect other activities negatively. The amount paid to access service from media should be less than the expected benefits.
  2. Media coverage-depending on the targeted population, one should consider effectiveness of media that will reach all the audience e.g. Local, National or International stations. More than one media can be used to facilitate maximum delivery of message.
  3. Urgency of the message-If the message is more urgent, the media that is fast to prepare the news should be used e.g. radio.
  4. Content coverage-The media to be used should be able to cover the content in details in order to facilitate clarity of the message. E.g. for an intake in progress its more appropriate to use newspaper than billboard.
  5. Competence of personnel working in the media-specific personnel influence attractiveness of the audience hence success in message delivery.
  6. Accessibility-one should consider the media that is accessible to the target audience. More than one media can be used depending on financial ability of informer in order to facilitate maximum delivery of message.
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