Media’s heavy presence


Hamish McLean and Richard Phillips

Ok so thirteen days and seven assessment tasks later, I am excited to announce that I have come out of my ‘assessment task overload’ state alive. Sadly in all the hustle and bustle my blog was sacrificed. However, I am excited to announce that not only can I once again see the grey carpet of my bedroom floor but also that this is my long-awaited wk 6 blog entry!

Chapter 11 of An Introduction to Public Relations: From Theory to Practice (Chia and Synnott, 2009) written by Hamish McLean and Richard Philips, was an insightful and interesting analysis that highlighted the importance and influence of the media. The reading outlined the effect the media has on public relations and also identified the different mediums of media that act as communication networks and strategic tools for PR practitioners.

I particularly found the theories of communication interesting, with the agenda-setting, framing and sociological and social reality theories (McLean & Phillips, 2009), exposing the underlying reality and seemingly scary truths of the media. The media is a constant presence in everyday life. It pervades   our sight, hearing and apparently, according to the agenda-setting theory, our thoughts and our actions as a whole (McLean & Phillips, 2009).  This scary notion leads to the important role the media plays and also influence it prevails in public relations.

The ‘gatekeepers’ of the media (McLean & Phillips, 2009) decide what makes the news and what doesn’t. They determine how a story is framed and also the amount of coverage it receives, therefore it is extremely important for PR practitioners to build a positive and cohesive relationship with journalists.

The underlying truth and dominant theme in the reading is that the relationship between public relations practitioners and the media is one of extreme importance. It relies on cohesion and trust, and also works in a back-and-fourth motion. As much as public relations practitioners rely on the media, the media also heavily relies on practitioners as a source and circulator of news (McLean & Phillips, 2009).

The reading was both informative and insightful. It helped me to identify not only the heavy presence the media has on my personal life, but also in the world of public relations. It is scary to think that the success or failure of an organisation can be determined by a dodgy story, at the click of a button. Or that the loss of a job can be held in the fate of a journalist.


–          McLean, H & Phillips, R. (2009). Engaging with the Media. In J. Chia & G. Synnott (eds), An introduction to public relations from theory to practice. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.


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