Do you know exactly what a PR expert does? Except if you’re in the industry, there can often be some disarray around what PR is, how it contrasts from marketing, regardless of whether it’s worth spending on, and what precisely PR experts do throughout the day.
With the increase of “fake news”, it’s perhaps no surprise that trust is scarce within the communications industry lately and, as a result, we’re seeing several myths and misconceptions looming over the PR industry, which aren’t only wrong but, in many cases, dangerously wrong because they are being taken as fact by the general public a day.
Here’s a list of the most common myths about public relations.
Any Publicity is Good Publicity
- There’s an old saying, “As long as you spell my name right.” For whatever period that we get the chance to see our name in print it doesn’t generally make a difference how the story goes, isn’t that so? Wrong. Exceptionally off-base.
- Negative press can cause long and extremely enduring harm and is something from which many organizations never recover. Indeed, even great stories, gravely composed can leave the crowd with a greater number of inquiries than answers and give the feeling that you just couldn’t care less enough to impart obviously. On the off chance that you are hard to understand, you might be hard to work with.
- Keep in mind, the press adores an ‘awful conduct’ or ‘outrage’ news story just as uplifting news, so think cautiously before you state anything publicly– it could do you more mischief than anything!
PR equals Press Release & Conference
- The press release is the customary large hitter in a PR toolbox – the most well-known approach to convey a story to media. It tends to be viable, however, it must be utilized appropriately.
- The world is changing and the press release as we once remembered is now no longer the prime PR tool it used to be. If you hold press conferences all the time, reporters won’t show up. Public relations today is a dynamic field, with more and more communication happening online in YouTube videos, Twitter, and blogs.
I only need PR when it goes wrong
- During a crisis, PR specialists implement communication and reputation management practices to support businesses when things go wrong, that’s not the only time you turn to a PR agency.
- If you’re only communicating to your audience during tough times, it’s very unlikely to achieve anything. Building a strong and continuous relationship with the public and the media can go a long way in eradicating “bad press” as they should already have trust and a bank of positive perceptions about the company, which will help put the situation into perspective.
Public Relations Can’t be Measured and Is Therefore Worthless
- PR isn’t sales, but there are many ways through which the results can be seen and measured. PR has stepped into the 21st century and is much more complex today than just guesswork and ‘column inches’.
- Paid, earned, shared and owned communication plus much more promptly play into the overall success of PR efforts – You can try to compare earned media to an equivalent amount of advertising. Yet earned media is far more credible — and effective — than ads. You can’t pin that down as a number.
Effective PR can replace the efforts of a sales team
- PR is not a sales tactic. It will not directly generate sales.
- PR is a complement to a strong sales strategy, as it generates brand awareness and credibility so that when your salespeople approach potential leads, they are already familiar with your company, product and trust in your brand. This will turn cold leads into warm leads, and will drastically increase your sales team’s efficacy over time.
Using PR, my company will become famous overnight
- Building a brand and creating awareness in a customer’s mind does not happen overnight. With most PR campaigns (especially those in high competition markets), companies can expect to start seeing media placements at approximately three months into the campaign; as long as the campaign continues, the number of PR placements will increase exponentially so you can anticipate steady growth over time.
- This is why PR is most effective over a long period of time.
- My recommendation is to consider PR as a basic necessity for marketing your business and outreach should continue on a regular basis, as long as your company is in existence. In other words, PR shouldn’t stop until you do.
PR is easy, Anyone can do it.
- This is probably one of the biggest myths about PR. Many business owners think that they can handle PR themselves to save money; after all, all you need to do is write a press release and journalists will be banging down your door, asking for interviews, right?
- PR is a big job. It’s not just about press releases… or even about pitches. PR is about creating a consistent brand, writing well, communicating effectively, acting strategically, creating relationships with media, having extensive knowledge about your industry and the media outlets that you are pitching. That being said, it is possible to DIY your company’s PR with the right knowledge, guidance and tools, as long as you are willing to put in the time and work necessary to execute an effective ongoing PR campaign (at least, a few hours each week).