PR Fundi Masterclass: Experts Share Insights on Navigating Media Relations

by Business Times
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In the realm of public relations, establishing robust and objective relationships with the media stands as a cornerstone for success, regardless of the organisation’s size.

This was echoed by industry experts during the PR Fundi Masterclass held at the end of February, where Simon Kasyate, Deputy Director of Public Relations at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), and Sheila Nduhukire, Principal Public Relations Officer at National Medical Stores (NMS), shared invaluable insights on the intricacies of media relations within PR.

Simon Kasyate, drawing from his transition from the newsroom to PR, emphasised the indispensability of strong media relations for effective PR practice. He highlighted the collaborative nature of media relations, stressing the importance of stakeholder and third-party endorsements in shaping the narrative positively.

“Media relations is not an isolated practice, you can never be a successful PR practitioner without good relations with the media,” he stressed.

Sheila Nduhukire underscored the significance of the “4Rs” in PR practice: being Resourceful, Respectful, Rapid, and Responsive. Nduhukire cautioned against treating journalists as PR assistants and urged practitioners to tailor press releases to align with news values, addressing fundamental journalistic inquiries to enhance newsworthiness.

Furthermore, Nduhukire stressed the importance of identifying journalists suitable for specific messaging and advised building a database of reporters covering relevant topics to streamline outreach efforts.

Moderating the discussion, Ian Rumanyika, Lead Consultant at Node Group, emphasised the need for intentionality in forming media relationships and understanding the unique operations of each media house. Beyond mere press release dissemination, Rumanyika called for a relational model that fosters proactive engagement with journalists and editors, especially during times of crisis.

“Away from press release sharing, know your journalists and editors, you need to build deliberate and proactive relationships with media personnel.” Rumanyika noted.

The insights shared by Kasyate, Nduhukire, and Rumanyika highlighted the strategic importance of media relationships and informed engagement strategies for PR practitioners. As organisations navigate the dynamic media landscape, cultivating collaborative partnerships with the press emerges as a fundamental element of effective public relations practice.

About PR Fundi Masterclass

The PR Fundi Masterclass program covers an extensive range of over 100 topics, delving into various facets of PR practice with the goal of equipping participants with comprehensive mastery. These monthly sessions are meticulously crafted to cater to the dynamic nature of PR, acknowledging its continuous demand for readiness in a 24/7 capacity. In contrast to conventional, rigid templates, PR Fundi prioritises critical thinking, offering diverse expert viewpoints on PR matters, incorporating relevant theories, thought leadership, and real-life case studies.

This initiative aims to bridge the gap in accessible PR best practices by establishing a platform where professionals can freely exchange insights, acquire new knowledge, and expand their professional networks. Tailored to cater to the needs of PR professionals, brand managers, government communicators, marketers, journalists, NGO personnel, and social media managers, the PR Fundi Masterclass ensures that attendees are innovatively prepared to navigate any PR challenge they may confront.

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