If there’s one thing about us, we love proving people wrong. One evening we were doing what we do best – you know, sipping on something fun while petting a dog or two – when we stumbled upon a lovely piece from Forbes Business Council breaking down public relations misconceptions. We found ourselves nodding vehemently as we read through the article and plotting this blog.
Here are a few from the Forbes list and then some of our own.
PR is Only Useful for Upcoming Launches and Events
We couldn’t disagree with this one more. Also, unless your event is a groundbreaking, press conference announcing something really big – no one gives a f*ck. Effective public relations work is an extensive process requiring around strategically building the reputation, credibility, and trust for a client’s business or brand. These things do not magically happen right before an important launch or event. In order to prepare for future launches and events, you need to start investing your time in strengthening relationships with different stakeholders now… like right now.
PR Has No Business Value
It’s true there is no universal way to measure the success of a public relations strategy in the same way there is for advertising. We do have ways of tying it to date, you can read about it here and here. We look at amount of press coverage received, clicks or visits to a website, increased engagement on social media, attendance at events, etc. Here’s the business value in PR: raising awareness of your company, strengthening relationships with stakeholders, and increasing the quality of your communication efforts. We’d like to see you run a business in this economy without excelling in those three areas.
PR Is Easy
We don’t work our asses off to be told what we do is “easy.” If anything, research is showing that our career is getting more and more difficult. With 6 PR professionals for every 1 journalist, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to not only land earned media, but to get journalists to respond period. Although this is understandable with journalists receiving over 100 pitches in their inbox in one week, it means that PR professionals need to spend a lot of time on media relations efforts…on top of everything else we do.
If all of this isn’t hard enough to navigate, trust in the media is dwindling. Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer revealed that trust in all news sources is at record lows, with trust in traditional media (aka how we get media coverage) declining the most. On the flip side, the 2022 report showed that stakeholders are increasingly holding businesses accountable to address societal problems, promote business leadership, and demonstrate progress in an authentic way. So how do we help businesses accomplish these tasks when there is such little trust in the media? That’s another blog for another time.
Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer Report
PR is “Spinning” the Truth
Ah, the PR swear word: “spin” [insert screaming here]. We’ve heard enough of this word. Spin is a form of propaganda, it means to communicate something in a way that changes the way people would have likely perceived it otherwise. Although people have done shady things in the past, their actions should not be used as the norm for every professional working in PR. If anything, PR professionals are actively fighting the spin stereotype by bringing more meaning into their work and using data to back everything up. We take a message and make it easier for publics to understand and see the meaning behind it. It’s called effective communication babes!
Small Businesses Don’t Need PR
If you take anything away from this blog, let it be this: you need PR. Regardless of your industry, stakeholders, or size, we promise you need it. If anything, small businesses are in need of extra support when it comes to promotion and building a memorable brand.
When you don’t have a bunch of rich corporate assholes writing you a check for 7 million dollars to get your ad in the Super Bowl, where do you turn? To PR… which is cheaper and more effective than advertising FYI. But once again… that’s a blog for another time.