Common PR Misconceptions

Brianna Zimmer laying on the ground covered in earned media.

“PR is going to drive my company’s sales.”
“All company news is relevant and warrants a press release.”
“PR is not time consuming.”
We can’t stop laughing. You really had us there. That’s a real knee slapper. 
Let’s break down these common misconceptions so they hopefully stop being so common. First off, if you hire a PR agency, you need to trust in their ability to deliver on earned media. Public relations isn’t something you can fake. They are either delivering or they’re not. To be clear, delivering = media coverage.

PR = Sales

Nope, that’s not what it is meant for at all. Lead generation requires an integrated approach, which, weirdly enough, we’re really good at. Huh, must be in our name or something. Public relations is meant to establish credibility, introduce a new product, position an individual or company as subject matter experts and create brand recognition. PR isn’t promotional. In fact, if that is your approach, best of luck to you…cause we won’t be working with you. Media coverage should be utilized in your digital marketing and can be tied into a larger lead generation campaign. It will not work as a stand alone to drive your sales.

All the Press Releases

Bob being promoted to Senior Vice President does not warrant a press release. Press releases need to be reserved for big company news—mergers and acquisitions, product launches, expansions, partnerships, etc.  Let us introduce the concept of pitching. Pitching is a skill that requires creative thinking, persuasive communication skills, and knowing how your story idea benefits the reporter and the audience. In short, we research the hell out of reporters. We find them on all the social (read online snooping), read their past articles, and then we develop a storyline that is a fit for their area of coverage. It also has to be really timely. Just because you write a press release doesn’t mean it is going to be picked up. Stop thinking they’re magic. The real magic is the PR pro behind the release and pitches. 

PR is easy and not at all time consuming

We dare you to say this to a PR pro’s face and see what happens. From developing the storyline to writing the press release, pulling media lists, researching pubs and reporters, developing targeted pitches, scheduling on the wire, creating media kits, fact sheets, conducting client interviews to coordinating interviews, media training and talking points…it’s one of the most intense processes in communications. We don’t report on every little aspect of it, because the results should be what our clients focus on. It’s a process that can best be summarized as follow-up, follow-up, follow-up, follow-up and more follow-up. 

We’ll leave you with this: less than 2% of pitches are picked up by the media. Reflect on that, then buy a PR pro a drink. We’re highly caffeinated, and happy hours are our love language.

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