Media relations specialists are a branch of public relations workers who deal primarily with transmitting information about their companies to the press and media, including newspapers, websites, TV/radio stations, and internet outlets. When something new, interesting, or important happens within their company, they are responsible for getting the word out, and they may occasionally be tasked with responding to negative information about the company, as well.
Media specialists generally work in an office and may occasionally visit trade events and sites of other media outlets to communicate information and/or conduct interviews. They typically attempt to put a positive “spin” on the events they announce and information they provide, which requires strong written and verbal communication skills, and it is essential that they have in-depth knowledge of the company they work for, its history, products, values, and goals, and how to relay this information quickly and accurately.
Strong journalistic and editing skills are important in this position, and many public relations specialists began as journalists or have earned a journalism-related degree. Most have received at least a bachelor’s degree in public relations, information technology (IT), communications, or a related field, and some advance to the position from prior experience in marketing, sales, and similar areas that provide knowledge and skills which translate well to media relations. These specialists must also stay up-do-date with all changes in media formats, styles, and other related knowledge.
Media Relations Specialist Tasks
Build, maintain and monitor relationships with key media figures and communities.
Create and disseminate marketing materials, both textual and image-based.
Write reports, releases, websites, and public-facing content to contextualize the organization.
Monitor and analyze the organization's public image, identifying strategies to improve perception.