5 Common Misconceptions about Public Relations


Public relations (PR) isn’t the easiest industry to explain (see my previous post). It’s particularly hard to explain with characters like “Sex in the City’s" Samantha Jones and "Mad Men’s" Don Draper giving people a very interesting (and false) idea of what PR is really like.
public relations
So, below are five common misconceptions about PR that I’d like to clear up.

PR practitioners…

  1. …are just event planners. Occasionally event planning does become a part of our repertoire because a client needs support. However, this is only a sliver of what we do. We are crisis communication managers, media relations liaisons, social media monitors, website development consultants and endless other titles. The list goes on and on!
  2. …care exclusively about media placement. During PR’s inception, media placement was the only way to gain exposure. Today, there are plenty of platforms that can assist a client in telling their story: Social media, digital advertisement, blogging, search engine optimization (SEO) and so much more. While media coverage is still a top priority, there plenty of additional ways we help our clients.
  3. …“spin” information. We pride ourselves on being truthful. People often think we “spin” information toward the sunny side of things, when in fact our motto is transparency. It is in our ethical code to be honest, upfront, apologetic when necessary and open. We are dedicated to being truthful, two-way communicators.
  4. …know everyone. Don’t get me wrong, the PR field is one big small world. But, it’s important to note that while we have strong connections amongst PR pros and traditional/non-traditional media – from long-time reporters to bloggers – it’s not always about who you know. In the rapidly changing media world, it’s as important to be able to establish and nurture new relationships and expand beyond our comfort zones into other industries based on our clients’ needs.
  5. …work 9-to-5 and spend most of that time at parties. PR is a 24/7 gig. Being available to support your colleagues as well as your clients is expected, along with having an eye on what’s happening in the news. It can sometimes be stressful, but the reward of finding a great opportunity for your client while ‘off the clock’ is unbeatable.

What does PR mean to you?