Fact vs Fiction: Debunking PR Myths

PR practitioners have heard it all — the good, the bad and the ugly. Because public relations is a fairly new profession, there’s are myths that people outside the field, and even in the field, subscribe to. However, the reality is often far different. It’s our job as PR professionals to uncover the truth and educate those who may be skeptical of the profession. Here are some of the biggest PR myths and the truth behind them, via Dummies and Stephen Davies.

Myth: The media view PR professionals as “the enemy”

Truth: While there is a stereotype that media people dislike PR professionals, that is often not the case. The truth is that many journalists get their stories from PR pitches or press releases. Journalists appreciate PR professionals who send them relevant information within their beat and who are reliable sources. Earning a journalist’s trust by being reliable, ethical and truthful is crucial in forging good relationships with the media.

Myth: Press releases are dead

Truth: Although it seems like press releases are a thing of the past, they still work. When a press release is well-written and expertly delivered, it can result in great media coverage at minimal cost to your company or client. The key is to make sure the message is delivered with a great subject line that will catch the journalist’s attention since many are inundated with hundreds of emails a day.

Myth:  PR is just spin

Truth: “Spin” is a thing of the past — or never was. Most PR professionals pride themselves in being ethical and trustworthy, and they work hard to earn the trust of the public, the media, and their clients. Today, PR is building mutually beneficial relationships between the public and a company. This means that there must be trust and truth in PR, otherwise, the public fails to benefit from the relationship.

Myth: All publicity is good publicity

Truth: The whole point of public relations is to build a positive reputation for a company. When a company receives negative publicity, that is not doing anything positive for their PR. It actually tears into their reputation, which is exactly the opposite of what PR professionals work to do. Although it may seem like being in the media is good for business no matter if the coverage is positive or negative, that is far from the truth. Especially in today’s society, it is incredibly important for brands to maintain positive reputations in order for their customers to remain loyal.

Myth: PR is a glamorous career

Truth: There are many aspects of PR that are less than glamorous. Crisis communications is a great example. The truth is, PR is a demanding career that requires discipline and entails lots of late nights and early mornings in the office. While there may be times that involve galas or trips abroad, most of the time PR is just hard work. But for those of us who love it, it’s definitely worth it.

Any other myths we can explore?

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