If you have read top-tier media publications, such as Forbes, you may notice that the…
A report by Forbes was proof that more millennials do a wide variety of research before investing in any product. If you are looking to make the most of your PR endeavors, you will have to create the best media relations possible.
Sound knowledge about the working of a newsroom is just a simple start to this process. We have attempted to break down the working of newsrooms before diving into its significance with PR professionals.
The Newsroom Structure
Most newsrooms run in the same way around the globe. They remain divided into departments that each ensure a part of the news puzzle is fulfilled.
Managed by a strict hierarchy, they keep a tab on the news quality every step of the way. We can break down this structure into a three wider limbs:
1. Input or Gathering Department
The first most significant department in any newsroom is the input or information-sourcing unit. They are responsible for the gathering of news from various sources. They contain a healthy mix of reporters and researchers.
The newsroom team stays in touch with reporters, news organizations, stringers, PR agencies, and much more. They also depend on news agencies, publishing houses, newsfeeds of government and private channels, etc.
They also ensure the collection of internal data like view counts, circulation, TRP, guest writers, guests on news shows, and much more.
2. Secondary Department
The next team is those who have roles that ensure the collected news reaches the people. They are a combination of tech teams, camera crew, OV vans, logistics teams, etc.
In the case of broadcast journalism, these departments become the spine of the organizations in charge of shooting, editing, verifying news, and finding a way to present it across channels.
With print journalism, the responsibility of adding the details on the print file, managing images, confirming ad-placements are all controlled by an editorial team. The final call about newspaper placement depends on the editor and sub-editor.
These roles remain almost the same with digital journalism, except for a robust technological team that manages the website, social media outlets, cross-checking and creating links, etc.
3. Output Department
In digital journalism, the output is highly dependent on tech automation, strategy, marketing, and social media platforms. They work like in the case of print journalism, with the exception of more real-time updating.
Most newspapers and magazines also have their own digital platforms. This change leads to the creation of more than one output department divided by media.
The system is more streamlined and ongoing with broadcast journalism. The news from reporters and writers creates a story and is then re-written for the broadcasting medium.
This process happens to break down the story by presenter, reported narratives, voice-over recordings, and much more. The PCR or the production control room is later handed to place them into presentable video news. The PCR also manages the timeline of publishing, packages the information, and much more.
Lastly, they depend on a master-control room to format and verify the final output and send it to an Earth Station. From here, the information is broadcasted around the world in real-time using digital and satellite channels.
The difference in most newsrooms is very evident based on the output they create. However, here is what stands out:
- Digital newsrooms are more real-time when compared to print journalism.
- Broadcast journalism depends heavily on the PCR and MCR departments, which do not exist in print and digital journalism.
- Digital newsrooms have more publishing opportunities when compared to print journalism.
PR Professionals with Newsroom
PR professionals are nothing like those in advertising. While advertisers are known to buy space on media and newsrooms, PR works as mutual creators of the press.
PR agencies and personnel are known to promote a company or an individual. This happens with editorial coverage, articles, and noteworthy press releases. This distribution is also called earned or free media.
While ads often look like paid content, the ideal match of newsrooms and an ideal PR professional can make these look like appearances that favor the image of its clients.
Importance of Media Relations
The last question is: Why is it essential for PR professionals to know the structure of the newsroom before pitching journalists?
There are multiple reasons for this, but the most apparent one is the need for good media reactions. An old saying in the PR world suggests that agencies do not go to newsrooms but the other way around.
Media and PR professionals share a mutual agreement that helps them generate more stories. Most outlets, be it print or digital journalism, are aware that PR agencies can provide compelling stories at all times. It’s also critical to understand the newsroom to know exactly what limbs are approachable.
The second reason is crisis management. A lot of the work done by PR professionals can turn into fire-fighting. A new story not in the flour of a person or company can create additional work for the PR team. In such cases, having an idea of the newsroom structure can help better manage this crisis.
Lastly, it helps to gain credibility. Merely knowing the structure of any division, for example, broadcast journalism, can help you provide a more realistic image in the brand’s eyes.
Building relations is the basis of any business. And PR companies must pay extra attention to solid media relations to flourish and provide the best to the clients.
Apart from having a better working, this process also allows PR houses to grow valuable clients, improve their influence and create a name for themself as a genuine and credible establishment.
Looking to learn more about the media? Check out our Cheat Sheet to the Media, which dives into the behind-the-scenes of the media industry and how PR pros can use this intel to better work with journalists. Also, be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive tips, tricks, and best practices straight to your inbox.