Proactive Media Relations vs Reactive Media Relations

Proactive Media Relations vs Reactive Media Relations

One of the most important things for an organisation or business is to have the ability to market products and services using a good PR strategy. Two of the different ways in which PR can be completed are through either proactive or reactive media relations.

Both form an integral part of a fully functioning press office and allow you to build relationships with journalists who will come back to you for insights, research and comments. Read on to learn more about both proactive and reactive media relations, and find out what the differences are between them.


What Are The Differences Between Proactive And Reactive Media Relations?

People often confuse the differences between proactive and reactive media relations. To give you a broader understanding of what sets them apart, we’ve broken down both styles of media relations.



Proactive media relations is a part of PR that focuses on activities between business and media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television – as well as online publications.

For many businesses, having proactive media relations is key as it helps maintain good, stable relationships with media outlets. It can be a positive opportunity to develop campaigns and stories – be it monthly, quarterly or annually – that become topical moments in the media calendar and give media a reason to talk about your business and the stories within it.

Proactive media relations is also part of generating on-message and strategic PR exposure for your business that can help manage a positive reputation with the media. Proactive media relations also creates a positive dialogue with key audiences and provides an opportunity to create and change narratives.

The consequences of not being proactive in your media relations could mean that your business is misunderstood or misinterpreted, which in itself is a reputational issue. Being proactive with media relations means that you get to lead the way and publish a message and story in the way that you want it to be told.

Ultimately, proactive media relations also makes sure you are visible with the press for when they may need to come to you with something to respond to. You can develop quality stories to a timeline and plan, which isn’t the case with reactive media relations, as there is usually a quicker turnaround.



Simply, reactive media relations is the process of responding to a media event or issue affecting your business in a timely manner to generate a result. This could be a topical news story, where your key media spokesperson could respond with a comment, or it could be a crisis issue that directly affects your business, requiring a crisis management response.

There is usually a fairly rapid turnaround in providing reactive comment or insight to an in-bound media request, which means you should ensure you have a visible press office phone number on your website to ensure you capture enquiries in a timely fashion.

When it comes to a reactive press office, with the onset of 24/7 news media and round-the-clock content, journalists are under increasing pressure to secure comment and response to breaking news stories. As part of an ‘always on’ press office strategy we work with our clients to ensure a bank of relevant reactive content that provides answers to the journalist’s query, profiles your expertise and brings an issue to life.

Reactive media relations usually respond to situations that are in alignment with their client’s industry or overall goals. We can help you plan proactive and reactive PR campaigns around topical thought leadership topics and key media moments to make sure you are front and centre of stories that matter to you.

Being agile in dealing with media requests also comes into play when dealing with a crisis. Perhaps it’s in response to something that’s already been published, or is going to be published, where you need internal processes to escalate a crisis response. We can act as a core member of your team to help you navigate this to get the best possible outcome.


Benefits of Proactive Media Relations

In modern-day, news cycles move at an exceedingly fast pace. The main benefit of proactive media relations is that it helps you develop a strategy which includes objectives, key messages and expected targets.

Getting the timing right and approaching the media correctly can determine how successful your message will be. Proactive media is great for those that want to put a story out that isn’t currently being reported on. This allows you to have total control over how the message is portrayed.

Using a proactive media approach means that you can set the agenda and have the chance to get the timing and storyline correct before exposure, which is all part of the planning process.

Proactive media relations are perfect for businesses that have news to share or key messages they want to portray to an audience.

Everything about proactive relations is done on your own accord, there’s no stressful period where you have to rush to respond to a mention – you have the chance to plan and accurately articulate your key messages.


Benefits of a PR-Led Approach to Media Relations

The primary benefit of working with a PR team on successful media relations is being able to create positive opportunities to talk to the media. We work with positive change makers who are committed to inspiring audiences with stories that place their business at the heart of narratives that matter to them.

As an extension of your team we can also support you to act quickly to deliver effective messages as part of effective media relations.

Although you can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future, a benefit of reactive media is that acting in this way pushes you to plan and execute proactive and reactive campaigns. We can support you to get ahead of the waves of news and content to secure cut-through at the right time with the right message.

This can take the pressure off wider communications challenges with the support of a fully integrated press office team.


Channels and Tools for Proactive and Reactive Media Relations

Using the right tools and channels when it comes to proactive and reactive media relations is key. Both proactive and reactive relations approach mean you could use social media channels, press releases and content creation to get a story or message out there efficiently.

Social platforms could include Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Creating informative blogs and videos to share on social media are two great ways to put out stories – these types of content have proven to be the most effective forms of PR on social media.

Businesses using proactive media relations additionally use influencers and online trend-setters as a way of getting messages spread across big social platforms, whereas active media wouldn’t use influencers.

This alongside a bank of media contacts and decades of press office management skills means we cover every medium to deliver comments, assets, insights and media relations campaigns cohesively.



If you’re after getting the right results by using both PR and media relations, reach out to us at Tuesday Media. We work closely with your team to ensure our knowledge can be distributed within each key area, allowing us to pitch and sell to the media efficiently on your behalf.

Generating business exposure and endorsements by maintaining positive publicity is what we do. We aim to generate new business leads, retain staff, raise investment and make your business the top nominee for awards.

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