The strange relationship between public relations and the media


Accept it or not, public relations and the media have complementary relationship. This relationship is a bit strange because public relations cannot work without media. On the other hand, media cannot prosper without having public relations. But, still they have many conflicts on some aspects. From decades, the public relations and the media have enjoyed very curious relationship. But, the fact is, no one can survive without the other.

Public relation practitioners are intended to see the most flattering media stories about their client. They study a lot about the choices and preferences of producers, reporters, communists, journalists and popular bloggers. By keeping an eye on their interests, public relation practitioners make news and topics to reach them out and gain excessive media coverage for the respective client. Says Akshat Thapa from

The media practitioners such as reporters, communists, journalists or editors, look for the guests and experts on daily basis. They need a constant stream of captivating content to fill print space or airtime. They do untiring efforts to meet their editorial needs on daily basis. The media practitioners search for exciting and captivating news. They articulate guests and experts that offer something original and relevant to fulfill their needs and help to gain their professional goals. Says Joshua Green from

Public relation is a broader aspect of media relations. Public relation deals with the relationship between the company and the public while, media relations deals with the relationship between the company and the media. Media relations involve all print, broad casting and online mediums of communication. Public relation practitioners directly engage with the public and key stakeholders whereas; media personnel use different media outlets to spread company information. You might be thinking that how the two parties can have similar goals and conflicts at the same time?

Let’s have a look on this paradox!

Goals in common:

Although, the relationship between the public relations and the media are built on mutual respect and common accomplishments, both have many common goals. These common goals make them complementary for each other. The common goals are:

  • Creating a story
  • Keeping the viewers and listeners well-informed
  • Raising awareness about the brand
  • Developing a narrative
  • Educating their audiences
  • Expanding their customer share
  • Creating greater market share
  • Building credibility, etc.

Despite of common goals between public relations and the media, both find many opportunities for strain and tension between them which can result in many conflicts and controversies.

Reasons of conflicts:

Although public relations and the media have mutual goals to accomplish, there are also many conflicts that arise and results in strained relationship between the two. Let’s discuss the possible reasons of conflict:

  • Public relation specialist wants your client publicity. On the other hand, media specialists want the strong brand message.
  • Sometimes media personnel resent boring and off-topic ideas to public relation specialists.
  • Sometimes public relation specialists send the news to media personnel from unwanted directions.
  • Often, the one do not respond to the counter-part, causing a sense of rivalry between the two.
  • Sometimes media personnel unearth secrets, causing the loss of client credibility.
  • Sometimes media personnel spread scandals, resulting alarming situations for public relation practitioners.
  • Sometimes media leak out the distorted facts about client, creating a great problem for public relation specialist.

Both the public relation practitioners and the media are different sides of the same coin as they share mutual goals. But, their conflicts are the halting factor in their way of success. This can be tackled by honest and loyal relationship between the two parties.