What’s the Difference Between News, Social and Web Media?

By communications intern, Lani Wreaks

When it comes to Public Relations the term ‘media’ covers a lot of territory.

It relates to different channels a brand might use to communicate messages, thoughts, images, events and more. You may have also heard the terms earned media, owned media, and shared media. In other words: news, web and social.

What is News Media?

News media (earned) coverage is the result of winning the opportunity – often through media relations – to be part of a news story. News media management can include submitting a pitch on behalf of an organisation for an award, speech or presentation. It also includes getting the organisation’s product, service or expertise, included in a media story or an industry trade publication. 

News media is what most people think of when they think of PR because of the high visibility of PR’s role in generating publicity. An example of working with news media at Shine is the work of former print and broadcast news journalists Rebecca Malcolm and Lisa Glass. Rebecca and Lisa both recently been reporters and news editors so they understand the inner workings of modern media. 

What is Social Media?

When we talk about social media, we are generally referring to international platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, although some organisations use platforms that are less well-known in New Zealand for example Weibo in China. Social media is constantly evolving and extending its marketing and customer service offerings. It plays an effective role in retailer – consumer communication and has proven to be an excellent tool for internal and external business communications.

Social and news media are governed in quite different ways: social companies are trans-global and can unilaterally disable or deactivate accounts under their terms and conditions. Traditional news media (including online sites) have a greater degree of public accountability because they are bound by the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Press Council. 

Social media can also carry false claims, so if an organisation is using social platforms for external communication, it is important to maintain a credible and verifiable presence backed up by strategic social media management. The Shine team crafts social strategies for clients according to their key audiences and important messages. 

What is Web Media?

Web media – also referred to as owned media – describes channels an organisation controls. It hosts content that you want stakeholders to access and understand, such as the organisation’s history, values, and market information. It can also provide a home for blogs, newsletters, presentations… the list goes on. With web media you have full control over the account and content is distributed on your terms. An example of this at Shine is our blog (which can be found on our website) and our client newsletter.

We have specialists in social, web content and news media, so if you are looking for someone to help your business with all things media, send us an email at info@shinecollective.co.nz.