So I was having a chat recently with some friends about working in PR and it was interesting to hear what they thought PR was. What was funny was how many myths associated with the profession popped up during the convo, and I had fun trying to dispel them. Here are my top five ridiculous myths about PR.
- PR is all about the Ab fab lifestyle – yep that old chestnut, the BBC comedy ‘Absolutely fabulous’ showed Jennifer Saunders working in the world of fashion PR. While it was hilarious to watch it is far from the truth. In reality we don’t all spend our time drinking, getting high and buttering up journalists. I recall my early days working in fashion and beauty PR to be, long hours and lots of hard work liaising with clients, pitching to journalists, distributing samples etc.
- All publicity is good publicity – I have heard this so many times and each time I have heard this and I wanted to shout erm NO! All media coverage is not good coverage, having worked on crisis situations in the past I know this to be entirely false. Think about it, if you’re a restaurant owner and you received negative media coverage about rodent infestation or if you’re CEO of an airline and you receive negative coverage about your planes being faulty and not up to scratch, do you think that would be good for business? Nope not at all.
- PR means press releases – People often get confused about what PR practitioners do, and think it’s just about churning out press releases for every and anything. PR is not just about pushing out press releases and media relations although it is an important element PR. PR is vital for informing, engaging and building relationships with your target audience, be it customers, suppliers, other businesses with an interest in yours. PR is also very important to your brand messaging which you want to be positive, and is the service you would turn to for help with a media crisis or negative media mentions.
- Anyone can do it – this is unfortunately a common misconception. Business owners often think that they can manage PR themselves to save money as all it takes is a press release and then the media gates flood open right?… Sorry to burst your bubble but it’s not that simple. PR is about reputation management, it is about communicating, clearly, concisely, effectively and strategising to build relationships with key stakeholders including the media.
- PR will make me or my company famous by tomorrow
To build brand awareness takes time, as consumers we don’t walk into a store or read an article and jump on the bandwagon immediately. PR is an effective strategy to use for your business but you must remember that it can take time. PR is not based on luck it’s based on good PR planning. So remember when you start your PR campaign you may not necessarily see media coverage anywhere from a few weeks to three months into the campaign due to lead times for publications etc. But as long as the campaign continues you will see PR increase significantly over time.
Feel free to leave a comment and add any ridic myths that you know of!