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Communicating effectively with the public and maintaining a positive image are critical for a media outlet to develop and secure a readership base. In this second article of a two-part series on communication strategy, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), in partnership with a public relations specialist, explains the importance of mapping public relations opportunities and developing a social media strategy.

Public relations, or PR, refers to the strategic communication from an organisation to the public to maintain or cultivate their public image and/or respond to public discourse. Forging strong connections with the public is critical to the success of a media outlet when it is starting out, as well as long term. A public relations specialist from French communication company Publicis Groupe provides basic PR principles for media workers to use in their public relations strategy, with an emphasis on social media.

Mapping of PR opportunities

  • A constant watch. Media workers should always remain on the lookout for new opportunities to engage with the public, their partners, or other stakeholders. It is recommended to keep an up-to-date map of all stakeholders, including the outlet’s detractors to adapt and react if needed.
  • A sense of timing. Fixed dates such as celebration or remembrance days are good opportunities to engage in public relations. Media workers should map out the important dates throughout the year according to the outlet’s core values and main topics, in order to prepare and maximise their impact through timely communication.
  • A relevant medium. PR statements or content may vary according to the medium on which they are released: the way an outlet communicates on Facebook may be different from the way it communicates on X (Twitter) or on its own website. Media workers are encouraged to map out all the different platforms in order to capitalise on the characteristics of each of them. 

Social media strategy

  • The six golden rules. Social media today is one of the most important platforms to engage in public relations. When defining a social media strategy, follow these six principles to ensure strong engagement for each social media platform: 1/ stay true to the outlet’s core values and identity, 2/ find the right tone, 3/ invest in quality instead of quantity, 4/ know the right timing, 5/ pay attention to audience reactions, and 6/ have good frequency of posts.
  • “Snackable” content. PR content on social media should remain very targeted, straight to the point with one key message in order to maximise its impact. It is recommended to avoid technical terms and adopt a tone relevant to the target audience and the platform used. 

Read Part 1: Communication toolbox.

This article was written in partnership with Publicis Groupe, a French communication company providing PR and advertising services.