Media work as public affairs: moving beyond media savvy: Insights from press contact staff members at 50 Danish insider interest groups

Leila Trapp, Bo Laursen

    Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review

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    Much research exists which examines how politically-motivated organizations adapt their communication practices to suit the news media’s routines and values to gain media coverage and thereby exert political influence. The mediatization literature describes these adaptation processes as constantly evolving, with professional communicators exhibiting an ever-growing amount of media savvy. The purpose of this study is to gain up-to-date insights into current forms of media adaptation in political organizations through interviews with professional press contact staff in 52 Danish interest groups.

    The interviews reveal that media work is considered an effective, though potentially risky, form of public affairs. Indeed, media work is said to damage, or even ruin, an organization’s lobbying efforts or relationships with political actors. The study’s key finding is that in order to deal with these risks, professional press contact staff acquire a great deal of political savvy in addition to the well-known forms of media savvy. The interviewees describe intricate media tactics used to minimize the risks, and even strengthen relationships to political actors. These include flattery, praise, self-promotion, timing, strengthening political actors’ profiles, saving their face, and selflessly giving them credit for any positive, collaborative political outcomes.
    Antal sider13
    StatusUdgivet - 2015
    BegivenhedInternational Communication Association: Communication Across the Life Span - San Juan, Puerto Rico
    Varighed: 21 maj 201525 maj 2015


    KonferenceInternational Communication Association
    Land/OmrådePuerto Rico
    BySan Juan


    • Interest groups, media work, public affairs, media logic, political logic