Having just witnessed a year which has included U.S presidential election where the President-elect was routinely dismissed by the media and where the Brexit voters were scoffed at, has the mainstream media lost its influence? If so what’s the point of devoting budget and energy to media relations?

Well the answer is a bit more complicated than that. Media relations still deserves a place as part of the communications mix (for those playing along at home this includes stakeholder, community and customer engagement, research, social media and digital) but it can no longer be the solo star. Companies that have successful communications have learnt to not only use the media to articulate and amplify their message but also have a better understanding of what their customers and stakeholders want.

An ability to write a great sentence is a starting point but not an end point. The value of good communications comes from understanding your audience, understanding the medium/media by which you are addressing them and knowing their pain points.

Communicating with your audience and not at them through mainstream media will help you develop long-term relationships with your customers or clients.

If you are working with a communications company that can’t tell you how they do that and provide strong examples of where they have delivered successfully then they may be doing your brand a disservice.