Saturday, 22 April 2017 21:15

Maintaining a successful relationship between PR agencies and the media

Written by Dr. Ali Mohamad

The relationship between PR agencies and publishers plays an instrumental role in the content value chain. Maintaining a healthy relationship between these industries is the only guarantee brands can get the exposure they wish for, whilst publishers maintain their quality standards.


From a publisher’s point of view, we would like to offer the following tips on maintaining a good relationship between these two industries.

  • High quality content: PR agencies have a mandate to disseminate a certain number of press releases per month. However, publishers should not be rained with releases that do not offer anything new to publish. This becomes even more important during events, where PR agencies send several releases per day on the same topic.
  • Diversified content: In this age of technology and social networks, it is important for PR agencies to part from the classical “press release factory’ model. Content sent to the media needs to be diversified over different types of multimedia, including visuals, videos, and of course written editorials.
  • High quality translation: As Arabic publishers, we get releases with varying Arabic quality, ranging from super good to releases that are embarrassment to Arabic. PR agencies need to carefully select their translation providers. For us at AL Publishing, we recommend AL Arabic, our mother company and the leading Arabic content provider in the GCC region.
  • Getting to know editors and journalists on a personal level: PR agencies need to activate their visits to the media, and make sure to get advantage of every opportunity to cultivate these relationships and maintain them.
  • Well planned interviews: PR agencies are required to work with their clients and prepare them for media appearances. Many clients dread public speaking, and PR specialists need to help them by stressing key messages, and training them on how to utilize the interview opportunity to pass these messages, while at the same time giving journalists the impression that the interviewee is an open book to read.
  • Gifts and samples: Many PR agencies resort to sending gifts and items from their clients to publishers. And while this is welcome to allow from hands-on reviews and personal endorsement, PR agencies should be careful when discussing these matters. For example, a colleague in the media told me she refuses to go to an event if the PR hinted (or said explicitly) there would be a valuable gift.
  • Events and invitations: IT is a primary role of the media to attend press events, inaugurations, fairs, festivals, and other types of press functions. However, given the nature of their work, editors and journalists need to be selective in what invitations they accept. PR agencies need to carefully plan their functions, and time them perfectly so they do not clash with other high priority functions.

Dr. Ali Mohamad is the Managing Director of AL Arabic, and CEO and Group Editor at AL Publishing.

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