Media work

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Federal press conference as a typical location for government media work

Media relations ( English. Media Relations ) refers to the scope of duties of public relations , focusing on the provision of information to the mass media ( press , radio , television and online media), the use of electronic media for the targeted placement of own embassies as well as the production and Dissemination of media products by organizations . The main stakeholder group in media work are journalists . If the work refers explicitly to the press, it is referred to as press work .

Medium-sized to large companies and other organizations have departments specially geared towards media work, which are usually part of the communications department (in addition to customer communications, internal communications and investor relations ). This department is often called the press office , although the work can also relate to television or radio journalists. Other media work facilities are press centers , e.g. B. at trade fairs .

PR agencies or editorial offices also offer media work for organizations, especially companies, as part of their range of services.


Instruments of media work are press conferences and journalist events, press invitations and press releases . Because these terms are restricted to the press area, media releases are also used in order to include all journalists. In the English language is therefore held conference press and news conference used.

Other journalistic formats for press work, in addition to press releases, are: author reports, technical reports, features and interviews . These formats are intended to enable the editorial team to vary the editorial part of a publication without great effort for research and creation.

Target and target groups

Editorial publications increase the chance that the organization will be reported on and thus achieve general relevance. In media work, the differentiation between two target groups (publics) deserves special attention. A distinction is made between recipients of media messages and journalists. Editorial offices of all types of media rely on information from a wide variety of sources and only very few of them rely on large editorial staffs and fixed networks of correspondents. Media service providers act as intermediaries between the company and the receiving editorial offices.

In addition to press work (press and publishing houses), media work also means providing information for associations , universities , online platforms (e.g. YouTube , Wikipedia, etc.), blogs or social media . Media work channels can also be internal communication , the newsroom on your own homepage or newsletters to customers.


The competitive environment is divided into five classes of providers: PR agencies, editorial offices, niche-specific press service providers, matern services and press release distributors. These can be distinguished in terms of the scope of their range of offers and their orientation.

PR agencies

PR agencies are service companies whose services and the resulting sales result primarily from activities in the field of public relations. This is where they differ significantly from advertising agencies and management consultancies. In general, the market differs in terms of service offerings, industry specializations and different strategic orientations.

Editorial offices

Editorial offices are small service providers with an often industry-related and / or journalistic range of subjects. This includes the creation of PR formats suitable for the press and their distribution. Mostly, members of editorial offices come from editorial offices or industry and offer their industry and specialist knowledge. For editorial offices, the quality requirements and professional experience of editorial offices are often more media-compatible than formats of PR agencies.

Press service provider

The offer of the press service provider corresponds to the consumer-oriented press work.

Matern services

Materndienste serve a very special area of ​​press work. The publications are mostly achieved in weekly newspapers / advertising papers and in part through paid advertising rooms. The offer includes departmental and topic-oriented material that can already be used as a printable template. The articles created in this way in an editorial guise can be imported directly into the publishers' page creation programs. This procedure often has to deal with the allegation of surreptitious advertising, since companies, their products and services are often clearly referred to without journalistic motivation. Publications with an editorial look, but which are actually advertisements, must be marked accordingly in order to clearly distinguish them from editorial work.

Press release distributors

Press release distributors are companies that specialize solely in sending their own press releases. This means that no changes will be made to the press releases, only that these texts will be distributed to the media.

One business model is to offer information portals on the Internet in which press releases can be placed. In these cases there is no "editorial filter".

Criticism of the press work

The cooperation between the media and press service providers is often disapproved by critics and interpreted as surreptitious advertising.

The German Press Council has drawn up a resolution in this regard by specifying the following in its statutes in guideline 7.2: “ The responsibility of the press towards the public requires that editorial publications are not caused by private or business interests of third parties or by personal economic interests of journalists and journalists are influenced. Publishers and editors defend themselves against such attempts and pay attention to a clear separation between editorial text and publications for advertising purposes. In the case of publications that concern the publisher's self-interest, this must be recognizable. “Surreptitious advertising is defined in this sense as information that goes beyond a justified public interest as well as the reader's interest in information. The boundaries between well-founded reader interest and surreptitious advertising are becoming increasingly fluid and the binding force of the journalistic guidelines of the German Press Council is indefinite. In the context of consumer-oriented press work, advertising-free articles are sought that contain the journalistic categories of topicality and solidity of information as a model. The articles are intended to signal to the reader that they have been researched objectively and that they can be clearly distinguished from advertising.

In fact, editorial offices with limited staff are dependent on receiving information from media workers. On the one hand, the content, if filtered and checked, can flow into one's own work without having to do extensive research yourself (support function), on the other hand, formats can also provide important background information or initiate research by the editorial team (impulse function).

See also: PR articles and advertorial .


Individual evidence

  1. ^ R. Jaeckel: press services. In: G. Schulze-Fürstenow, BJ Martini (Hrsg.): Handbook PR - Public and Communication Management in Business, Associations and Authorities. Neuwied 1994. Chap. No. 2,300.

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