Nowadays, “hiring a PR firm” means that your company is facing a crisis and you are calling to the rescue. Although PR firms have helped a lot of companies to handle a crisis and to improve the strategic team, it is still newsworthy when an organization utilizes its services.
Due to a lack of strong and ongoing advocacy for PR, this profession is not yet elevated within an organization. Aren’t PR professionals the go-to storytellers, writers, advisors, counselors, organizers, implementers and strategists? Some heavy lifting is needed. Let’s start by discussing 5 myths about PR:
- PR is nice to have but not need to have.
The truth is that the strongest brands and reputations deploy smart public relations tactics that are integrated into the core mission and culture.
- PR should not be seen – and needs to stay behind the scenes.
Of course not. You have the advantage of context and clarity – there is no reason you can’t be the spokesperson and certainly no reason why an organization shouldn’t be proud to have a smart PR counselor backing its reputation.
- PR’s main role is media relations.
Media relations is just a subject of PR, not all of it. Strong relationships with journalists are critical for many PR people, but the public in Public Relations includes those hanging out on social media, the employees in an organization and the people on Wall Street. Let’s change the conversation from positive media coverage to positive coverage!
- Good products don’t need publicity – only bad products do.
Puffing up a bad product while ignoring your good products is an odd and unproductive strategy. You want people to know about your best product and you should be proud of it. Make it the centerpiece of any publicity or marketing campaign.
- PR is easy so I will just do it myself!
This is one of the biggest myths about PR. Many business owners think that they can handle PR themselves to save money. After all, all you need to do is write a press release and journalists will be banging down your door and asking for interviews, right? Not true. PR is not just about press releases or pitches. It is about creating a consistent brand, writing well, communicating effectively, acting strategically, creating relationships with media, having extensive knowledge about your industry and the media outlets that you are pitching.