In its simplest form, public relations professionals work with brands, corporations, organisations and individuals to assist them in shaping their brand identities and messaging, manage their communications and promote them and their services or products.
Despite this, many people still get the work of public relations confused. Given the wide remit of PR, it is understandable that the profession is often surrounded by certain misconceptions, and here we tackle some of the most prominent.
This is perhaps the number one misconception, with many people assuming there is no difference between PR and marketing. While the two can work brilliantly together as part of a wider communications strategy, they are not the same thing.
Marketing is focused on ultimately selling products and services to the audience, whether through digital or traditional means. The goal of PR is to establish mutually beneficial partnerships that are based around “earned” media. This includes exposure gained through news mentions, customers reviews, podcast appearances, and a host of other opportunities.
While it would be nice if a product or service was so good it “sold itself”, the unfortunate reality is that with stiff competition and competitive brand exposure, nothing sells itself. Even the best product or service will perform poorly if no-one is aware of it, and that is where the role of PR comes in.
Experienced PR practitioners inform potential audiences and customers, building interest and trust by creating brand and product awareness. Consumers are more informed than ever, and PR professionals know the best way to communicate and share a company’s vision and values to the public in a way that develops engagement and builds loyalty.
While crisis management is a central function of PR, it is by no means the only time brands should be investing in their communications.
Ideally, public relations should be an ongoing activity that is invested in all-year round, as this is what will ultimately help to establish trust, familiarity and credibility in a brand.
By taking a proactive approach to your PR strategy and communications early on, many potential crises can be avoided altogether. Though a single crisis does not necessarily spell disaster for a brand, it is far easier to maintain a positive reputation than to repair a damaged one, so it pays to invest in PR early on.
Another prevalent myth about the PR profession is that its purpose is to obscure or “spin” the truth, presenting misleading information to journalists and publications. In fact, the opposite is true.
An important aspect of PR is to facilitate trust in a brand, company or individual, and this requires amplifying messaging in engaging and transparent ways.
Securing quality media coverage relies on establishing and developing long-term relationships with members of the media, with these relationships being built on mutual trust and credibility. PR practitioners seek to push factual information about their clients and doing so effectively means cultivating those long-term relationships with the media.
Business owners know their company and their brand inside and out. However, because of this, many assume they are best placed to handle their own PR activity. It can be difficult to accept that management of media relations is far more effective in the hands of an experienced PR practitioner.
The reality is, successful PR is a never-ending job, where consistent editorial pitching, messaging and management is required to achieve substantial results. PR professionals not only bring years of experience with them in being able to identify newsworthy stories and engaging messaging, but they also come with close media relations and the time and resources to achieve consistent results.
If you would like an informal chat about how our bespoke PR strategies can elevate your brand and amplify your message, contact email@example.com or call 0121 594 0712.