Need help with your Assignment?

Get a timely done, PLAGIARISM-FREE paper
from our highly-qualified writers!

Mass Media and Public Relations

Mass Media and Public Relations

Mass media refers to how information reaches a large audience through media channels such as radio, television, newspapers, and more. On the other hand, public relations refers to a strategic communication process that helps build a mutually beneficial relationship between firms and the public. In this sense, the public means the employees, customers, business prospects, creditors, and other stakeholders the organization impacts (, 2014). The PR team employs creative skills to portray a firm’s point of view to get public exposure. The public relations team usually uses different platforms, such as social media, during the events or the company’s websites. Various theories explain the issue of mass media and public relations (Sriramesh, 2009). This paper discusses how media advocacy theory and agenda-setting theory are part of the public relations practice and also discusses what public relations professionals consider about these two theories when making decisions.

Media Advocacy Theory

Media advocacy theory is a mass media and public relations theory that postulates that organizations can employ mass media to advance public policy initiatives. Media advocacy theory aims to promote public policies such as health and business policies (Dorfman & Krasnow, 2014). Thus, this theory shifts the focus from the individual to the social.

Agenda Setting Theory

Agenda-setting theory is a theory that states that media can influence the importance attached to the public agenda. In other words, the media manipulates public awareness and concern for various issues (, 2018). Media tends to significantly influence the public by instilling in them what they should think about instead of what these people think.

Cultivation Theory

Cultivation theory is another mass media and public relations theory. This theory states that when people are regularly exposed to media over a long period, they are more likely to perceive the world’s realities as the media presents them. In other words, overexposure to media makes an individual believe in what the media broadcasts (Vinney, 2019). An example of such a phenomenon is an audience who regularly watches television adverts on the greatness one gets in drinking a certain type of alcohol. A young audience who have never drunk alcohol ends up trying the drinks and later becomes an addict.

Selective Exposure Theory

This is a psychology and mass media theory that postulates an individual’s tendency to favor particular information, which tends to reinforce their pre-existing beliefs as they avoid contradictory information. In other words, people tend to approve information that supports their perspective faster than the information that seems to go against their beliefs (William, Kern, & Waters, 2016). For example, when an individual believes in polygamy and the government enacts a law that allows polygamy, this individual will approve the law faster than when the government could have enacted a law that bans polygamy.

PR Decisions and Media Influence

These two theories tend to be part of the public relations practice. For example, the government uses the media advocacy theory to convey its message. The government employs mass media to communicate its policies to the public. The media repeat the policy messages over time to emphasize the message. A good example is when a government wants to communicate about livestock vaccination against a particular disease to the public. It uses the media to pass the information. The media emphasizes the message through repeated announcements until the message sinks in people’s minds. The media also state and praise the importance of such policies to the public if implemented (Wallack, 2014). The media again go to the extent of praising the government for coming up with useful policies that would better the people’s lives. The extent to which the media praises the policies and the government becomes part of public relations. As mentioned earlier, public relations is all about building the organization’s name (, 2014). For instance, the media is used to build the government’s reputation for reasonable policies.

Regarding agenda-setting theory, it states that media influence people’s thinking. Organizations, governments, and politicians use mass media to reach the public and influence their thinking. For example, politicians vying for public office often come up with manifestos and include their past achievements to convince the public that they are the right candidate for the job (, 2018). The media publishes the information without assessing its accuracy for the public. The media emphasizes this message, and slowly, people start thinking and believing the message’s content. Therefore, agenda-setting theory is part of public relations.

Public relations professionals should consider the accuracy of the information when applying agenda-setting and media advocacy theories. These professionals should understand that it is unfair and unprofessional to lie to the public about a particular organization (Sriramesh, 2009). Thus, as much as they should apply these theories, they have the right to filter the information to remove the apparent lies that could spoil the organization’s reputation. The public has a right to information but should not misrepresent the information.


Mass media and public relations are two strongly interrelated fields. Many theories explain how this fieldwork, but the theories discussed in this discussion are media advocacy theory, agenda-setting theory, cultivation theory, and selective exposure theory. These two theories are part of public relations; thus, public relations professionals should try to check the authenticity and accuracy of the information before releasing it to the public.

References (2018). The Agenda-Setting Theory in Mass Communication. Retrieved from

Dorfman, L & Krasnow, I. (2014). Public Health and Media Advocacy. Annual Review of Public Health Vol. 35:293-306

Sriramesh, K. (2009). The mass media and public relations: A conceptual framework for effective media relations in Asia. Asian Journal of Communication Volume 13, 2003 – Issue 2: (2014). Public Relations and Media Relations: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from

Vinney, C. (2019). Cultivation Theory. Retrieved from

Wallack, L. (2014). Media advocacy: a strategy for empowering people and communities. Journal of Public Health Policy Winter 1994;15(4):420-36.

William, P., Kern, M & Waters, L. (2016). Exploring Selective Exposure and Confirmation Bias as Processes Underlying Employee Work Happiness: An Intervention Study. Frontier in psychology.


We’ll write everything from scratch


Mass Media and Public Relations

Read the Topic 1 Required Readings on mass communication theories that relate to media influence. The readings are on the following theories: Media Advocacy Theory and Agenda Setting Theory.

Write a 500-750-word essay and include the following:

  1. An analysis of how these mass communication theories are a part of PR practice or inform PR practice
  2. What must PR professionals consider regarding these theories when making decisions related to media influence?

Include three or more scholarly resources.

Mass Media and Public Relations

Mass Media and Public Relations

Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.

Order Solution Now