Misconceptions of Public Relations

Misconceptions of Public Relations

To Understand more on what Public Relations is read- Basic Elements of PR

There are many myths and misconceptions about PR. Here are some of the common myths about Public Relations.

1) Myth: Any Press is Good Press--No, it is not so. Any publicity may not be good publicity. The negative content in any publicity may affect your organisation's image. So, a PR person must always strive for a news story with positive content.

2) Myth: PR is all about Press Releases and Press Conferences-- "Press Release" and "Press Conference" are the two tools in PR. But, they are not all about Public Relations. There is more to it. If Press Releases are over-used, then they become less effective tools. They have to be used appropriately.

Similarly, Press Conferences should be rare and reserved for the most significant possible events. If Press Conferences are held too frequently, they will lose importance. Moreover, public relations is an ever-changing field, with more and more communication methods happening in cutting-edge ways like YouTube videos, Twitter, blogs, etc. Hence, there are many ways to promote PR than holding only Press Conferences or issuing Press Releases.

3) Myth: Once You Break Through with Publicity, You're Golden- No. It is not so! One big hit in the media isn't enough. You must work continuously for any public figure or organisation for steady success. Public relations are not mere knee-jerk reactions.

4) Myth: Publicity is Free and Easy- Publicity is not always accessible and easy. Advertising as a PR tool is not free. Holding events like Press Conferences or conducting Press Tours require a lot of funds. PR is also not an easy job. It requires hard work, a lot of persuasive skills and professional competence.

5) Myth: You Need to Hire an Expensive PR Firm- This is false. Mere hiring of an expensive Firm will not get an organisation anywhere unless the Firm delivers the desired results. Again, it is professional competence that matters.

6) Myth: Good Products Don't Need Publicity - Only Bad Products Do.

This is also not true. You cannot ignore your good products, which would be an odd and unproductive strategy. Instead, you want people to know about your best product by making it the centrepiece of any publicity or marketing campaign.

7) Myth: Public Relations Can't be Measured and is Worthless.

Public relations aren't about statistical data about your success or failure and cannot always be quantified. Instead, it is the sum total of some tangible and intangible benefits.

8) Myth: PR Means Controlling the Press

This is far from true. You cannot control the press; instead, you should facilitate their writing of stories with facts and figures. Public relations is about communicating with the Press and the Public in an innovative, effective way.

9) Myth: Only Ex-Reporters Can Do It

In public relations, there's no professional license or test to pass. The profession is growing as the demand for information increases. There are more public relations jobs in business, entertainment, politics, non-profits and government. It is an old world view that only Press Reporters can do the job of a PR person. Organisations of all types benefit from communicating with the Press and Public. They're doing it more than ever through websites, blogs, Twitter, radio, Facebook, print, e-mail, Youtube videos and television. So, it is not a prerogative of Press Reporters. 10) Myth: Public Relations is Spin, Slogans and Propaganda Propaganda is manipulating people to do something that's not in their best interests. Public relations generally avoid spin, slogans and propaganda techniques. Today's audience is more sophisticated, and there are more alternative sources for news and information. Thus, PR doesn't concentrate merely on Spin, Slogans and Propaganda.

Some more common myths:

1. PR & Advertising are identical: Though they may be for the same purpose, advertising and public relations have different features. Advertising is a one-way street, with the advertiser on one end and the willing customer on the other. On the other hand, public relation is a two-way street between the public and the organisation.

2. PR initiatives distort the truth. People have the misconception that PR is all about trickery and deception. The public relations field is built around telling the truth and building trust. If we lose the public's precious trust, we lose all footing. PR persons who distort the truth get found out and are quickly brought to light.

3. PR is all about drinking and merry-making. This is a misleading perception. PR is nothing but persistent hard work.

4. PR is nothing but luck. The reality is that PR is a management function and is based on strategies and tactics.

5. PR is based on quick and easy actions. This is far from true. It is nothing but hard work.

6. PR initiatives are based on old-school methods. PR is very much flexible in nature and moves according to times. PR nowadays extensively uses social media.

7. You only have to be a people person. Though this is true, it obviously helps, being a "people's person". But, it isn't the whole job. For example, a PR person has to be a strategic thinker, a great writer, and a hard worker.

8. It's a 9-to-5 job. It is not so. Most people, even if they go home at the end of the day, take work home as if they have never left the office.

9. It's a super glamorous job. People see the lifestyle of a PR person as portrayed in fiction and assume it's the reality. In the real world, it's a lot of hard work. To be really successful in the field, you have to be dedicated.

10. PR practitioners are just event planners. Though event planning is part of the PR job, it is not everything in PR. They are crisis communication managers, media relations

managers, social media monitors, website development consultants and endless other titles.

11. PR only… "spin" information. People often think PR persons "spin" news toward the sunny side of things. But, PR is all about transparency and is supposed to follow an ethical code, to be honest, upfront, apologetic when necessary and open. The profession requires them to be dedicated to being truthful and two-way communicators.

12. It's not always important how many and who you know. In the rapidly changing media world, it's essential to establish and nurture new relationships and expand beyond our comfort zones into other industries based on the client's needs.

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