On July 12, 2018, PRWeek published an article called “Is the Future of Media Relations in Question?” The article explores the uncertain future of media relations and how journalists and communicators will need to work together to rebuild trust between people and media institutions.
Journalist and communicators, representing their companies, can sometime become frustrated while working with each other, however an article from the Washington Post called “No Comment: The death of business reporting” takes that argument one step further. The article argues how communicators have neglected to establish trusting relationship with members of the media and how communicators at their companies will often neglect to answer the media. A survey by the Corporate Executive Board found that only 17 percent of corporate communications workers’ time was devoted to media relations.
However, the Washington Post article also questions the legitimacy of the media representatives. The article says how, “When the media does come calling, it is too often inexperienced writers who know little about the company or the industry and are spread so thin that they have hours, not days, to report and write the story.”
This discord between journalists and communicators is expanded on in the article. The article explains how the digital revolution is disrupting the media industry, with the rise of news media creating content that drives web traffic instead of more serious, in-depth journalism. Additionally, the digital revolution has caused interactions between journalists and communicators to become disingenuous, as connections formed over emails between the two groups do not fully establish a trusting relationship.
Furthermore, the integrity of the media is being scrutinized by people because of the rise of “fake news.” The article explains how, “Public relations professionals are too often seen as spin doctors, not worthy of trust.”
As a result of this contentious environment, the article calls for communicators to rebuild the people’s trust and to partner with the media to help affirm its’ credibility. To do so, communicators and journalist have to respect their respective roles more and refrain from making disparaging comments about one side or the other being too young or inexperienced. They also need to work together and trust each other, so that people will trust in them as well. It remains to be seen if communicators and journalist will combine their efforts in order to re-establish trust and credibility.