3 Public Relations Myths – Exposed!
Although I’ve worked in the public relations industry for nearly five years, explaining what it is I do for a living in a succinct way is often more challenging than I’d care to admit. When confronted with the common question of “where do you work?” or “what do you do?” – the response of “I’m in PR” is time and time again met with blank stares, a casual change of subject or a slew of assumptions that are certainly not my job.
No, I’m not in advertising.
No, I’m not a graphic designer.
No, I don’t just “play” on Facebook.
Now that we’ve gotten that straightened out – I thought I’d address a few other common PR myths that I’ve noticed over the years (even by people within the marketing industry). So, just to clear the air, let’s take these one-by-one…
Myth #1: PR agencies are news release factories
If this was 1990, then maybe this would be a true statement – but times have changed. Yes, we do write news releases, but our capabilities go so much further than that. The news release is merely a tool for media relations, not a means to an end (which I’ll explain in greater detail in Myth #2). In addition to news release writing, we manage blogger programs, crisis communication plans, grassroots marketing efforts, influencer outreach, social media programs and special events…to name a few.
Myth #2: A news release guarantees media coverage
Without the foundation of media relationships, careful research, a targeted pitch and interview resources (all coming together at the appropriate time, mind you) – the news release is pretty ineffective. Not to mention that the story has to actually interest the media and, ultimately, their audience. Spoiler alert: not all stories are newsworthy. We help our clients tell their stories in an engaging way that caters to the needs and wants of the media.
Myth #3: Media coverage is all about luck
While there are certainly times when you will get “lucky” hits from the press, this way of thinking will get your company no where fast (and most certainly not in the publications and outlets your audience is interested in). We are very strategic in devising media relations plans for our clients. Leveraging our current relationships with media contacts is a big piece of that (and that’s not luck. That takes time and skill). Media coverage starts with telling the right story, to the right people, at the right time. All of those things don’t come together by mere chance.
What other PR myths do you think need exposing?