Mythbusters: PR Edition

“Public relations” is one of those buzz-terms that many people know and use but don’t fully comprehend. Chances are, most business owners recognize that they will need to hire a public relations firm at some point, but some don’t understand what PR is and why exactly it is so important.

It’s time to break down some myths about PR once and for all.

MYTH: PR is the same thing as marketing.

TRUTH: Nope. Not at all.

First things first, it is essential to understand that public relations is NOT marketing. Although similar in effect, the tactics used are very different. Marketing is intended to simply boost overall public awareness, using tactics like promotional videos, advertisements, and events.

On the flip side, PR holds emphasis on reputation management. What we do is maintain a good reputation among target audiences about the brands we work for, through the use of pitching, social media management, influencer outreach, and events.

MYTH: PR only increases brand awareness.

TRUTH: PR does wayyy more.

While good PR should and does increase general awareness of a brand, upholding the reputation is the main goal. We focus on building relationships between organizations and their audiences. Think of us as a helpful bridge that gives your business access to your public. We work to uphold these beneficial relationships to give your business the reputation that it deserves.

MYTH: PR success can’t be measured.

TRUTH: It can be difficult, but it can be done.

While advertisement success can be measured with direct formulas, PR is a little more vague. It is difficult to calculate how the public is perceiving your brands, and if the press hits you are getting are driving traffic to your brand. However, with the internet and social media, there are more ways to measure the success rates of PR strategies. For example, there are now conversation monitoring platforms that allow you to view the ways in which people are mentioning and talking about your brand on social media, which gives you great insights on if your PR strategies are driving the conversation or not.

MYTH: PR uses lies and spins the truth to make brands look better.

TRUTH: We don’t lie to media, audiences, or anyone (or at least, the good PR pros don’t)

We’re all familiar with the stereotypes of PR professionals – “spinsters,” “truth-twisters,” “flack”. Unfortunately, a few bad eggs made the whole carton smell, and the fact is many public relations professionals rely on ethics and truthful communication in their strategies in an effort to maintain honest relationships and reputations.

Check out our thoughts on public relations in the new age, here.