Media Relations/Print & Broadcast and Employee Relations

Throughout this post today, I would like to analyze the relationship between journalism and PR, along with the effects that the Internet has been having in newspapers, with advertising and publicity and the employee relations in PR.
The Internet has forever changed the public relations practice of dealing with the media. This is due largely to consumer-generated media. The good old days of conventional media, dominated by a few networks and truth-minded reporters, are a relic of the past.
Today’s media is fragmented, omnipresent, and run by journalists who may be aggressive and opinionated. Competition has driven many journalists to compromise traditional standards of truth and objectivity.
Modern public relations began as an adjunct to journalism. Before 2000 or so, most practitioners began their careers in journalism. Today, people enter public relations from many different fields of study, directly from college.
Recenter years have not been kind to the print medium, especially newspapers. On the other hand, the growth of the internet and electronic media, print still stands as an important medium among public relations professionals. Why?
This is due probably to the fact that many departments at newspapers and magazines use news releases and other publicity vehicles compared to the limited opportunities on network and cable TV. In addition, online databases,, blogs, and other Web-based media regularly use wire service material destined for print usage, so the Internet – while originating an increasing amount of original copy – still often serves as a residual target for print publicity.
Moving on to employee relations in PR…

Public relations practitioners working in employee relations face tough communications challenges.

Consider a recent survey:

  • Less than 50% of employees said they were satisfied with their jobs.
  • The least satisfied were the newest entrants to the workforce.
  • Less than 39% of workers under age 25 said they were satisfied with their jobs.

During these uncertain times, PR professionals must create communications that are: effective, believable and persuasive. The value of intellectual capital has increased. Employees are the most important assets in the organization. An employee public comprises numerous subgroups, each with different interests and concerns. Smart organizations tailor messages and media to reach each specific subgroup.

Any organization concerned about getting through to employees, must offer them:

  • Respect
  • Honest feedback
  • Recognition
  • Encouragement
  • A voice

Organizations that build massive marketing plans to sell products have begun today to apply the same knowledge and energy to communicating with their own employees. A continuing, employee relations challenge for public relations communicators is to work hand in hand with human resources officials.

People are your most important asset. What is the dollar-and-cents value of good working relations with your staff? Have you calculated what percentage your payroll is of total operating expenses? What are the costs of selecting, training, and replacing your employees? What labor turnover is the result of employee dissatisfaction? In terms of the output and the growth of your business, what is the real money value to you of a highly motivated and loyal work force?

Looking carefully at the answers to questions like these can help you develop a sound employee relations program.

To conclude: Public relations professionals must seize this initiative to foster the open climate that employees want and the two-way communications that organizations need.


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