Working in public relations (PR) has it’s fair share of benefits – cool product launches, exclusive parties, and getting to meet some great leaders and innovators – but the profession has been somewhat glamourised by a few Hollywood films.
Fact: It’s unlikely you will lead a life like Samantha Jones
Don’t get us wrong, life in the PR fast lane can be glitzy, but behind the scenes there’s a lot of hard work, research and pressure for results. Let us bust a few of those common PR myths.
- MYTH 1: PR is just press releases
“Why are we paying you so much to just sent out a couple pages to media?”
Reality: PR does not stand for press release. Public relations is about building long-term relationships with the media and the members of the public through a defined strategy and campaign. Anyone can send out one press release – but what you’re paying for is experience, relationships, strategic insight, networks and expert advice and account management to portray yourself and your business or product in exactly the right light. If you’re doing this across multiple countries, it’s even more work. Don’t underestimate how much work goes into getting your name out there.
- MYTH 2: PR is easy
“Anyone could do it.”
Reality: Yes, well, you could try but you won’t necessarily succeed. Good PR takes time and a lot of research. You need to constantly be in the know about what journalists are writing and which topics certain journalists cover, and how to pitch your story in a way that will capture their attention. If you don’t do this right, you risk embarrassing yourself and your brand, offending a journalist, and losing the game before you even begin. PR is not just parties and fun – there is real work that goes on to get the right coverage with the right results.
- MYTH 3: Public relations will make me an overnight sensation
“Following this press release, I’m gonna be a millionaire overnight.”
Reality: While you will definitely see an uptick in sales, sales or website traffic, understand that PR is about long-term engagement. A strong public relations and marketing strategy will undoubtedly help grow your revenue and help make you successful, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Building brand awareness, trust and credibility is a slow and steady burn that needs to be managed well.
- MYTH 4: Only large public relations companies can do the job
“They will have the resources and staff to handle my needs”
Reality: Big agencies are obviously good at what they do, but depending on your needs and your brand, a smaller, more nimble agency can become your ideal partner. And it’s not just because it saves you money – it’s a combination of less bureaucracy, being quicker to adapt, and the ability to have more senior managers on your account. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.
- MYTH 5: My business is doing well, so public relations has no value
“Only bad products and images need PR.”
Reality: PR has more value than you think, even if things are going well. It’s not true that PR is only necessary from a crisis point of view, when things are going wrong, or when you want to change an audience’s perception. That can be part of the role, but more often that not, PR is about letting your customers know about all the great things you’re doing. Customers today are savvy – they know the deal. They turn to the Internet for credible write-ups and reviews of a product or service before they decide to purchase – and this is something your advertising dollars alone can’t buy.
So there you have it! There is a lot more to PR than meets the eye.
If you need help in spreading your brand message, drop us a line at [email protected].
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