If you’re familiar with the communications field, then the chances are that you’ve heard the terms public relations and media relations at one point or another. Often times, these terms are used interchangeably. But are they one and the same? The answer is no. While they are certainly similar, and each have value in any communications industry, the truth is that there are key differences between public relations and media relations.

For anyone that is looking to begin their career with a PR agency, it’s important to know what separates the two from one another, and have a firm understanding of each. That’s why we’ve broken down the definitions and differences of what sets public relations apart from media relations.

What is Media Relations?

Media Relations is one of the many aspects of Public Relations. Pace PR’s Founder & President, Annie Pace Scranton, is a Professor at Hofstra University, within their Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations. While teaching Media Relations to her students, she explained that: “Media Relations is the practice of working with the media to achieve the goal of securing interviews and placements for one’s client. The sole job of the Media Relations practitioner is to create unique and compelling pitches for one’s client and then, of course, pitch the media. It’s all about figuring out how to position one’s client in the best possible way to grab the attention of the journalist.”

Media Relations Falls Under Public Relations

Public Relations is the umbrella term for all things including publicity. Different branches include Media Relations, Crisis Communications, Corporate PR, Government Affairs, Investor Relations & Community Relations. Therefore, Public Relations encompasses Media Relations, but Media Relations does not encompass all facets of PR.

In other words, if you’re in the Media Relations field, you can call yourself a publicist and accurately define yourself as working in the PR field. On the other hand, if you’re in PR, you may not necessarily work in Media Relations – you may work in a different branch of PR entirely.

A Top-Notch Communications Strategy

The key to any good communications strategy is to combine PR with media relations. Earning the attention of the media is just one piece to the comprehensive puzzle of public relations, but without it, one cannot have a successful PR strategy.

Annie Scranton and her team of PR gurus have several years of experience in public relations, media relations, project management and business communications. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pace Public Relations is offering free consulting advice to any small business owner, company or brand that may be struggling to navigate these uncharted waters.

If you’re interested in scheduling a consult, or you would like to discuss receiving PR and media relations services, reach out to us online or give us a call at 212-254-4730. We look forward to speaking with you!

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