By: Cresta Lewis
There are many misconceptions out there about public relations in general and what PR pros do and do not do. Here are five fairly common myths.
What would you add to the list?
It’s all about the press release. Yes, we still write press releases. They’ve been around LONG time. And, yes, they are still a valuable tool. But PR does not always equal Press Release. We use other tools to communicate with the media and targeted public, such as:
- Email pitches
- Social media channels
- Content, such as blogs, articles, whitepapers and video
- Creative mailers and press kits
- The good old fashioned phone call
PR is easy…I can just do it myself. Yes, you can. But oftentimes it’s best to hire a professional who can focus on the efforts. PR takes time and results are often not immediate. So you must be consistent and diligent. Most business owners don’t have the time to focus on marketing in general because they are focused on running their business. PR is about creating a consistent brand, communicating effectively and the ability to work with media outlets. Oh, and thick skin.
PR is cheap (or free). PR does include earned media, but it’s not free. If you hire a professional, you are paying them for their time and expertise. But it’s worth it, because PR can create more visibility and credibility than advertising for less money.
Any press is good press. Yep, tell that to anyone who has ever experienced a PR crisis. Any press is NOT good press. We certainly don’t want our clients to be seen in a negative light. We want to tell positive stories that engage people and compel them to take action, all while helping a company build their brand.
You spin, you win. This one is my favorite. And I’m amazed that people still think this is part of a PR pro’s job. We don’t try to spin a negative into a positive or tell lies to fit our own agenda. We do, however, craft key messages to build understanding and trust so that companies can be seen in an honest, transparent light.