The Difference Between Media Outreach and Media Relations

Media connections can make a big difference in the success of your company. From a mention on a media influencer’s social media page to a full story in an industry periodical or newspaper, media connections can help grow your business. Awareness, sales, traffic, and conversions can all be dramatically impacted simply from having the media talk about your business – on any level.

Now imagine how much easier it might be to get the attention of the media if you have a prior relationship with them. This is the concept behind media outreach and media relations. Imagine that you’re friends with Oprah Winfrey.

You pitch her a good story about your business and she’s more likely to talk about you on her show or mention you on her social media pages than she would a total stranger. And if Oprah talks about your business then you’re going to see skyrocketing visits, sales, and engagement.


Download your FREE Guide: How to Send an Press Release via Email

  • Learn how to set up your pitch campaign for greater success. Filled with details and tips, the guide will help you maximize your chances for media pick up.

Click here to access your Guide


However you can’t just go out and make friends with key influencers. You have to introduce yourself first. That is the difference between outreach and relations. Let’s take a look at the two in a bit more depth.

Media Outreach

Media outreach is the process of pitching. Pitching is what happens when you say to someone, “hey, I have a story idea that you might be interested in.” You can pitch anything from a press release news story to a potential partnership. The keyword is “pitch.” And the key to a good pitch is to know who you’re talking to. You don’t want to go to a sports journalist and pitch an idea for your jewelry business.
It wouldn’t make sense, and it wouldn’t be a good way to start a relationship. Media outreach begins by identifying your goals and then researching the big players in the industry who might be interested in helping you. It’s about knowing their audience and their goals and putting yourself in a position to help them out. For example, you might pitch your new fitness coaching business to a local media show that covers new businesses.

Media Relations

Media relations is the next phase of the process. It’s the relationship-building process. It should be said that relationship building can occur without a pitch.

You can follow key influencers and media representatives on social media and become a valuable resource. Media relations is about working together to help one another out, and you can be the first person to help and provide value. And of course your first step to a relationship can be the pitch and how you manage the process and the follow-up.

Both media relations and media outreach are necessary to create and support a successful press and publicity strategy. Start looking at your outreach goals and begin identifying the people you want to connect with.

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

Catch up on the rest of your content marketing news and strategy