Myths uncovered about public relations
Let’s debunk some well-known myths
Public Relations is a broad field. While some are well acquainted with its complexities and twists, others grapple in vain to understand what public relations comprise. For the growth of businesses and startups, PR is a need of time. A successful PR exposure can give your company a solid boost. Whether it is media relations, brand awareness, or credibility among your peers- PR will always be your go-to person. But, there are several myths surrounding PR that adjourn companies from availing PR services. Let’s debunk some well-known myths following PR so that you can separate them from reality and use PR with full confidence.
1. There is no PR without advertising
Most of the people believe that without advertising, PR does not exist. But, in real PR and advertising they have a separate existence. Advertising is paid visibility while PR visibility is earned. The editorial department operates separately and independently from the advertising department. Therefore, even if you place an advertisement that does not mean your press release will get “space” in the newspaper.
However, in smaller publications, it is possible that advertisers may get preferential treatment by editorials.
2. Anyone can do PR
PR is not just about sending press releases or maintaining media relations. It is much more than that. PR expertise in boosting your brand’s image through various PR tactics and strategies. Specifying the target audience and working on them precisely to establish trust are some of the key sectors PR works on. PR isn't a one day chore. It requires time, control, and intelligence. More often than not, when a company tries to do its PR, it crashes down due to a lack of expertise and proper strategies.
3. PR is required only during the crisis
Crisis management is one of the important aspects of PR, but it is not all that PR comprises. Crisis management does not work only when negative image surfaces. It includes procrastination so that quick and relevant actions can be taken when the need arises. A PR professional who works steadily for your brand will be able to prevent or handle crises much more effortlessly than anyone else. Other than that, it also includes maintaining the reputation of your brand in the public eye by conducting time to time press interactions and dissemination of press releases.
4. You need to entertain editors and journalists
It is a popular belief that you need to make editors and journalists happy by entertaining them with gifts and extravagant gestures. But it is not true. You don’t have to keep close contact with the editors to get good coverage. While some may entertain your gestures, most don’t want it and would like to spend their time and energy on somewhere productive. Suffice to say that, most of them prefer to keep PR sources at arm’s length. They opt to receive good story ideas and press notes by emails instead of engaging long phone conversations.
Therefore, socializing editors or journalists is completely unnecessary.
5. Only bad products require publicity
Even if your product is good and successful, you will still require its publicity. Nothing can stay in the media for a long time without any initiatives. Every day there are new product launches and announcements. If you do not hold your brand in the eye of the media and public, you will eventually be forgotten. It's like out of sight, out of mind. A bad product may need publicity to make up its reputation, but a good product requires publicity to maintain its image in the market.
6. PR is expensive
There are always options in the PR field. If you have a tight budget, you can definitely go for less expensive PR services. It all depends on your budget and what you need. You will find that PR is far less expensive than advertisements. Before coming to any conclusions, you should definitely check the options available to you and consider various ways in which PR will make you shine.
7. PR controls media
PR does not control the media. They simply make your press release and story ideas appealing. It depends upon the journalist whether he wants to cover the story or not. This is why PR issued news coverage carries far more credibility than a full-page advertisement. PR ensures that the stories and announcements are received and accurate. The more appealing your story is, the more are the chances of getting coverage. All in all, you need PR to pen down a good story or a press release. It’s all about communicating with them strongly and effectively.
8. PR is all about sales
Public relations chiefly focuses on managing brand reputation, building brand awareness, and establishing trust in the public eye. An increase in sales has been just an added benefit. It creates a strong bond between a brand and its consumer. The more the customer prefers the brand the more the chances of escalation of sales. Nonetheless, everything depends upon the faith that PR manages to create between a brand and the public. One can say that PR can improvise sales.
9. PR is all about propaganda and manipulation
In reality, public relations avoids propagandas and slogans at all costs. PR looks out for the best interest of its client, but not at the cost of manipulating one's general interest. You cannot deceive the public that easily. Furthermore, there are many options available to them to choose from. What a PR does is to make communication easier between a brand and media and generate ideas that will benefit the brand as well as the public.
According to Mr. Atul Malikram, “It is PR that wins your recognition and credibility in the media. You need to have a progressive and efficient approach if you want your business to grow. So, next time if you hear anything that shakes your belief in PR, a little investigation won’t hurt.”