The main audience that
media relations focuses on includes all mass media, such as television,
newspapers and radio. The goal in targeting this audience is to secure
media coverage for a given organization, especially in the case of special
events. Those who are unfamiliar with the practice of public relations
may believe that this is the field's only goal.
In most cases, the public relations practitioner is attempting to publicize the true intents of the organization in order to clear up a misunderstanding, offer its services or make itself more available to its publics. There have however been several instances in which an organization has not been forthcoming, has engaged in unlawful tactics or the covering-up of information. These instances act to further reduce the credibility of public relations.
The Titanic Video Launch
In order to remain at the top of their market, Blockbuster determined that a gigantic launch for the video, Titanic, would be beneficial. In order to secure media coverage, the PR firm developed a plan that would aid in easy reporting as well as create an actual "blockbuster," thus making the event newsworthy.
Promotions for the event began months in advance. The company chose 34 of its strongest markets in which to hold the event. In each of the 34 markets, Blockbuster stationed a trained media contact who would be the spokesman to all media. This aspect was important because the spokesman was credible, highly informed and able to answer any questions the media needed.
The actual event consisted of an overnight promotion during which customers could pick up previously ordered videos or buy the video when it was released at midnight. Customers could also register to win a cruise if they purchased or ordered the video. In preparation, Blockbuster ordered an enormous number of videos in anticipation of a large crowd.
As a result of the fine-tuned event, Blockbuster was able to issue a press release just twelve hours after the video was released at noon the next day. The release reported record sales and garnered even more coverage of the event.
The success of the Titanic video release can be attributed to a well-put-together promotional plan that enabled media to have full access to the information it needed to report the event. As a result, the event was covered nationally and resulted in news coverage estimated at more than $9 million. The public relations budget for this campaign was $200,000.