Public relations is everywhere in our daily lives. Whether you’re reading a newsletter from your favorite tech blog or liking one of Wendy’s viral tweets, there’s a good chance that it was written and worked on by a PR professional. However, because PR is everywhere, the general public can become confused by what exactly PR is. Here are 4 common misconceptions about PR and the truth about them.
PR Practitioners are just “Spin Doctors”
This is probably the most common misconception surrounding PR. PR’s job is to create a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship between the client and the publics they’re trying to reach. By definition, spin is the act of “spinning” neutral or potentially harmful information to suit the needs of your client in order to deceive. This goes against the PRSA Code of Ethics, and anyone who does this isn’t a real PR practitioner.
PR Campaign Results are Instantaneous
While a PR campaign can have wide-sweeping, positive impacts on a company’s brand and image, the results don’t come overnight. A single viral tweet or newsletter isn’t going to take a company from zero to hero in the span of a couple days. Dedicated PR campaigns take time and require constant effort. Think of them like planting a seed. At first it may seem like nothing’s happening, but with the proper care and consistent watering, the seed will start to sprout and grow until it becomes a huge apple tree. The fruits will be revealed in time, you just have to be patient.
PR is Not Measurable
In the age of social media and the internet, getting numbers and hard data for a PR campaign is getting increasingly easier and easier. There are more traditional ways, such as tracking media placements in print publications and television, as well as more modern ways like follower count and likes. Fear not all you number crunchers, there’s plenty of data in PR to be compiled and analyzed to your heart’s content.
Any Publicity is Good Publicity
Everyone has heard the saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” This way of thinking is wrong and can be flat-out dangerous when considering a company’s image. Bad publicity can hurt not only sales, but also the image of the company in the eyes of their publics. This can lead to catastrophic image repair problems and can quickly sink a business or company. You should always try to be in the news for the right reasons, even if that means less exposure.