Debunking the Myths of PR

When you’re involved in the business of PR you often, unfortunately, hear – first-hand – people’s misguided perceptions of what PR is all about.

Sadly, those who have nothing particularly nice to say about PR – or about those who make a living providing PR services – have most probably had a very bad experience in the past, something they are finding difficulty getting over.  The ensuing cynicism can be strong and contagious, not to mention unmerited, and we like to do what we can to stem this without adding to the frustration felt by the individual in question.

In this week’s blog post we thought it might be interesting and potentially useful to address some of the points we’ve heard being raised by those who seem to be suspicious of our craft (that’s PR craft by the way, not witchcraft – honest!)

  1. Any Press is good Press

As long as we get to see our name in print it doesn’t really matter how the story goes, right?  Wrong.  Very wrong.  Negative press can cause long and very lasting damage and is something from which many businesses never recover.  Even good stories, badly written can leave the audience with more questions than answers and give the impression that you simply don’t care enough to communicate clearly.  If you are difficult to understand, you may be difficult to work with…

Even if written by someone else, poor content generally results from lack of direction and we would always insist upon driving the narrative rather than taking any chances.

  1. Publicity is free, isn’t it?

It is possible to achieve publicity without having employed the services of a PR professional but, aside from referring you to point 1 above regarding not all publicity being the kind we’d like to attract, we’d also suggest that we don’t apply a DIY attitude to other things in our lives.  For example, we may all drive cars but that does not make us qualified mechanics.  For something as important as our reputation we might want to take advice from someone who knows what they are doing…

  1. PR firms are all very expensive

Some are, most aren’t.  As with so many other walks in life, we urge our clients to seek value for money.  A PR specialist with a good track record may have a higher day rate than one with little in the way of success but a combination of affordability and recommendation (and perhaps even specialism) can help you find the company who is right for you.  Let’s face it, there are plenty of PR agencies to choose from so no-one has a monopoly on this particular market.

  1. PR is just about Press Releases

The world is changing and the press release as we once recognised it is no longer the main PR tool it once was.  Whilst we still use the press release where relevant, there is no point in sending these out ad-nauseum and hoping that they ‘hit the spot’. A well-written, up to date press release is useful to have in the PR armoury but it will not make significant waves on its own.

  1. Once you’ve had a PR success you can stop

By all means you can stop, but so too will the success.  We’re all familiar with the term ‘one hit wonder’ when it comes to music performers, well the same goes for businesses.  Just because you hit the target with a particular piece of press it doesn’t mean to say it will have a lasting effect.  PR involves planning a sustained campaign to keep you front of mind long term as well as in the shorter term.  We always welcome a bit of luck when it comes to a story ‘sticking’ but we know we have to keep that momentum going for it to have any meaningful impact

  1. PR success can’t be measured so isn’t it a con?

Those who’ve experienced PR success are very much aware that they have.  The results, whilst perhaps not measured by standard means, are tangible and real.  The question of trust comes back to choice of PR specialist.  The more reputable service providers will be keeping a very close eye on campaigns and outcomes and, as well as being able to illustrate what’s working.  They will constantly monitor and tweak any elements which don’t quite seem to be as effective as they could be and discuss this openly with their client.  Most successful businesses employ and trust their PR experts – it’s no coincidence that these kind of businesses look after their budgets too and don’t spend money on things that don’t bring valuable benefits.

  1. PR is simply all about champagne receptions and glamorous events

For those readers who haven’t met Rach and the RDZ team, we can assure you it’s not.  Schmoozing does not come high (let’s face it, it doesn’t even feature) in our job description.  Yes, we build relationships, show our worth and showcase our clients but that’s most probably going to happen in an office than at a champagne gala.  In fact more often that not it’s on a working shop floor which (absolutely no offence to our clients) is by no means glamorous.

We hope that we’ve managed to debunk a few of the myths which we come across as we go about our work (and yes, it IS work).  Of course, the very best way to disprove any of the above is to have a look at what we do here at RDZ PR and see why our clients value the service we provide.