On September 30, 2011, the Stratégies newsletter relayed a marketing operation launched by a Parisian agency: media relations services offered for sale on Groupon, for more than modest sums and based on a pre-established scale according to the supposed nature of the intervention and its degree of intensity.
This information caught our attention because it raises the questions of the nature of the relationship between communications agencies and their clients and of the services they offer them.
What are we talking about when we talk about media relations? This particular expertise opens the door to many interpretations and the range of services rendered is very wide: from the unqualified distribution of press releases to the creation of long-term relationships with journalists or the definition of a specific strategy for one client.
Considering that it is possible to « do media relations» for a more than modest price and according to a pre-established scale suggests that it is a service that can be calibrated without having had the time to get to know the subject, its stakes, the journalists it concerns, and the way in which it can be treated and presented in order to respond to the strictly commercial or corporate problematic that it represents for the client.
Because fundamentally, to fathom media relations, it is above all to understand that journalists have constraints and quality objectives resulting in the simple fact that that we cannot «sell them everything » and that we certainly cannot do it in an « industrialized » way, systematically identical no matter the subject. We therefore believe that communication consultants cannot commit to « packaged offers » of media relations for their clients.
We are convinced that media relations are a profession requiring high expertise, precision, and construction, for which the notion of time is essential: the time to build the relationship with journalists, the time to demonstrate the interest of the subject in question, the time to find the « right timing », that moment when the expertise of a client in a particular field corresponds to a journalist’s interest at a given moment.
Expertise, precision, construction, time… so many words that construct quality media relations, in which clients but also journalists find their interests and that, beyond a commercial promise or a marketing operation, have a price.