Public relations v/s media relations


Definition of public relations:

Public relations are communicating your organization’s right information, at the right time, in the right place to the public. Organization can be a business, non-profit organization or a government agency. It is a practice of managing the information prevailed between the organization and the public.

Definition of media relations:

According to Akshat Thapa from, as the term suggests, media relations deals with the relationship through media. It is the process of working with media for spreading the information of the organization. The information can be about the organization’s product, mission, vision, agenda or policy. The purpose of spreading information is to gain public interest for organizational well-being.

Difference between public relations and media relations:

According to, public relations and media relations are sometimes used interchangeably. Despite of many similarities, the two terms greatly differ from one another. Let’s understand it by discussing the differences in detail:

  • Public relations involves public at large. On contrary, media relations involves all print, broad casting and online mediums of communication.
  • Public relations is a way of spreading the organization’s important information to the public. Media relations deals with the organization’s interaction with the media workers such as editors, journalists, news reporters, etc. thus, we can say that public relations involve the public and media relations involve the media persons to gain exposure.
  • Public relations involves employees, consumers, stakeholders, investors, partners, government entities, media, etc whereas, media relations involves news editors, reporters, media managers, journalists, etc.
  • Public relations is a wider aspect. On the other hand, media relations is the narrower aspect of public relations.
  • Public relations directly engage the public and key stakeholders. On contrary, media relations use different media outlets and coverage to spread the news of an organization.
  • Public relations use multiple channels to spread the information about the organization’s product, agenda or mission. The multiple channels include the special event, a company website or social media application. On contrary, media relations use single channel to spread the information i.e; the press.
  • All public relations are media relations but, not all media relations are public relations.
  • Public relations shape the spread of the message because the specialists are storytellers. The shape the message in such a way so as to best represent the organization’s brand. On the other hand, media relations provide a megaphone to spread the information.
  • A good public relation strategy not only helps the organization to understand the consumer behavior but, also helps to figure out the probable future outcomes. On contrary, media relations are not able to find the consumer behaviors directly as the media personnel are involved.
  • Public relation is considered as an earned media of communication whereas, media relations are considered to be paid media.
  • Public relations are less expensive to gain public exposure. On the other hand, media relations are more expensive way to gain public exposure.
  • In public relations, it is important to build trust with the concerned audience whereas, in media relations, it is important to build exposure to the audience.
  • Public relation affects the nature of targeted audience much more effectively by building credibility. When we see the counterpart, media relation is less effective and more costly to reach to the targeted audience.
  • Public relations do not involve direct payments to the public whereas; media relations involve direct payment to the concerned media personnel.
  • Public relation focuses to persuade the public through special events, speeches, conferences, etc. Media relation focuses to persuade the by the help of media persons.

As you can see, there are many differences between the two terms. Everyone working for public or media relation needs to understand the blurred line between both. Keeping an eye on the trending affairs and anticipating the future outcomes are the other essential factors for the professionals.

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