With the rise of “fake news”, it’s perhaps no surprise that there’s a lack of trust in the communications industry of late and, as a result, we’re seeing several myths and misconceptions looming over the PR industry, which are being taken as fact by the public every day.
Public relations plays a pivotal role in helping businesses and brands achieve commercial success, so it’s important that we separate the facts from the fiction, and instil faith back into an industry that has a history stretching back hundreds of years.
PR myth #1: “Just send out a press release…”
A press release has traditionally been the most common way for PR professionals to communicate a story to the media. Agencies and in-house teams alike have used press releases for many years to piece together stories in a media-friendly manner – packaging facts, figures and a newsworthy story in a way for journalists to share easily.
However, the media landscape has changed drastically over the years and businesses can’t just rely on a press release to communicate their message. Social media platforms, influencer marketing, content marketing and email marketing, among other tactics, have come to the forefront and can reach the public in ways that traditional media relations might not.
PR myth #2: I only need PR when it goes wrong
While crisis comms and reputation management are practises that PR professionals can implement to support businesses when things go wrong, it cannot be the only time you turn to PR.
If you’re only communicating to your audience during tough times, it’s very unlikely to achieve anything. Building a strong and continuous relationship with the public and the media can go a long way in eradicating “bad press” as they should already have trust and a bank of positive perceptions about the company, which will help put the situation into perspective.
PR myth #3: It’s all champagne and caviar, darling!
While it’s true that we as PR professionals love socialising and entertaining, the sad truth is that it’s not just one big party. We work just as hard as we play, investing a lot of time in understanding our client’s business, brainstorming new and creative campaign ideas regularly, and putting in a sustained effort to achieve outstanding and measurable results for our clients.
Don’t get me wrong, champagne (or prosecco, even!) does feature occasionally in our jobs but not to the extent people might assume.
The PR industry has been tainted with a number of myths and misconceptions since its inception in the 1900s, with the public underestimating it as a trusted communications tool. However, it’s important that we as PR professionals educate the business community about its value and role in helping achieve commercial success for companies across the world.