Media, medium and channels
Media refers to the channels via which particular message of the public relations campaign reaches stakeholders. Medium makes it possible for the campaign to reach stakeholders through the use of one or more channels. It can refer to mass media or to individual. Channel refers to a tool which is used to carry information. A channel is a medium of communication.
PR and media
Media refers to the channels via which a message of the public relations campaign reaches stakeholders. Media is not only an important stakeholder for a business but also make it possible to communicate with all other stakeholders of the business.
Types of media
Media can be of two types, controlled or uncontrolled. Controlled media are usually paid media over which businesses have some control. An example of controlled media can be the annual report. Uncontrolled media is unpaid media over which organization does not have control. An example of uncontrolled media is a news release. Media representatives, such as editors of a newspaper, will have control in such situation regarding whether this information will be published and in which form it will be published.
Choosing the media
When choosing appropriate media, public relations practitioners should consider which media is accessible to targeted stakeholders and which media they prefer. Available budgets should also be considered.
Internal communication is directed at internal stakeholders. Internal stakeholders include employees, management and shareholders. Many firms consider employees and customers to be the two most important assets of the business.
The profit and growth of organization are mainly the result of customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is the result of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is mainly a result of value provided to customers by the business. Satisfied employees and organizational alignment, which refers to situation when employees are aligned with and internalized the values and beliefs of organization, will deliver better value to customers. This will result in enhanced customer satisfaction and customer loyalty and greater growth and profit for the business.
Since internal communication is one of the important ways to ensure organizational alignment and employee satisfaction, internal communication is of crucial importance.
Philip Kotler, a well-known marketing expert, advises that in any organization with a service component, there are three types of marketing that occurs in the organization.
Internal marketing occurs between the organization and employees.
External marketing occurs between the organization and customers. It concerns design and implementation of the marketing mix.
Interactive marketing occurs between employees and customers. Its effectiveness depends on how well employees can meet customers’ needs.
External marketing cannot occur without internal marketing which refers to motivating and educating employees to be able to meet the needs of customers through interactive marketing. Therefore, for effective marketing, all three types of marketing should be undertaken efficiently.
Print publications can be used for internal communication and include newsletters, magazines, annual reports and bulletin boards. Internal communication media can also include audiovisual media such as power point presentations, videos and audio recordings of the messages.
The combination of different audiovisual media is often used. For example, a power point presentation made by the CEO of the organization may also include a number of video or audio messages. Along with a number of audiovisual media, such presentations are amongst the most used media for interpersonal communication. It is a form of interpersonal communication media.
Interpersonal communication media refers to communication which occurs face to face. For example, interpersonal communication media occurred in the previous example because the CEO was presenting to his team in a face to face format. Other examples of interpersonal communication media are staff meetings, interviews and training sessions.
Another example of interpersonal communication media is informal communication which is also called an organizational grapevine. An organizational grapevine refers to informal and unsupervised communication within the organization. It allows to rapidly disseminate information throughout the organization. Organizations need to use informal communication media to its advantage.
Mass media is generally considered to be an uncontrolled type of media. Mass media refers to media which targets a broad audience of various stakeholders and include, but not limited to, the broadcast media, which is television and radio and the press, which is the newspapers and magazines.
The press is a type of mass media and includes newspapers and magazines. The advantages of press over broadcast media include information being presented in greater depth. Further, when information is presented in the press, it is portable. Individuals can take newspapers or magazines with them and read it anywhere.
The press is also often passed from one individual to another. For example, if one likes certain articles in a magazine, he or she may bring this magazine to his or her friends and family to share it with them. Friends and family will likely take a look at the entire magazine and not only at the recommended article. Some individuals even cut out and keep articles or information that they find particularly interesting or useful.
However, the press also has certain disadvantages. The disadvantages include the fact that the management of the press usually prints what will sell and the information in the press may not be objective or may even be distorted. Moreover, the readership of the press may not be as big as claimed by the newspapers and magazines. Many individuals only read newspapers over morning coffee or on the way to work. Moreover, with newspapers now available online, many office workers read the headlines only online and read specific articles only if it is particularly relevant or interesting. Therefore, a lot of information in the newspapers and magazines gets ignored by a large proportion of the readership.
Broadcast media offers certain advantages over the press. It may reach a larger audience than the press. This is especially true as more and more people around the world gain access to this media. This media offers various sounds or combination of sounds and colors which enhances the message. It is also watched or listened to mostly at the leisure time. Therefore, on average, the messages communicated may enjoy higher attention of the target stakeholders. Moreover, if an organization targets illiterate stakeholders, than broadcast media is more relevant when compared to the press. When it comes to advertisements, with broadcast media, individuals are almost forced to listen to or to watch the advertisements. With the press, individuals have more control over which advertisements to take notice of and which to ignore.
Disadvantages of the broadcast media include that it is expensive and may be time consuming to arrange. Further, for messages to be absorbed by the stakeholders, it needs to be absorbed immediately as it is being broadcast.
Various exhibitions and shows are also a type of mass media. Their advantages over broadcast and the press media include the ability to engage in two way communications with the targeted stakeholders and therefore have better control over media and have better chance for creating a long-term relationship with the stakeholders.
Other types of media include folk media which refers to such media channels as puppet shows, gossip, music, community theatre, city or village celebrations such as festivals and family or community celebrations and events such as weddings or funerals.
There is also private media, which refers to media which an organization creates for its own consumption. An example of private media includes videos, literature and private exhibitions, such as factory tours, produced by an organization.
Lastly, there is of course a digital media, which can also be called a new media or technology driven media. New media channels include websites, blogs, video and audio podcasts, online forums and social networking websites.