Public Relations is a $68.3 billion dollar industry in the United States. It encompasses everything from publicity to crisis management. PR professionals work with individuals, brands, government agencies, corporations, and startups to help shape their brand identities, manage their communications, and promote their work.
As businesses and retailers close out 2021 and finalize plans for 2022; marketing and communications plans are coming into consideration and department heads are working with allocated budgets.
An aggressive public relations strategy is often top of mind as executives and management consider how to implement new product launches.
Below are some common misconceptions about public relations. Consider these true and false lines of thinking as it pertains to what PR does and doesn’t accomplish.
Myth #1: PR will Generate Sales
Reality: While PR supports and works hand-in-hand with sales and marketing, the purpose of PR is to create brand and product awareness; developing consumer and customer loyalty, as well as communicating and sharing a company’s vision and mission to the public.
Myth #2: PR is a luxury not a necessity
Reality: PR is needed to ensure proper messaging, positioning and vision. If you’re a public company, it’s crucial that all messaging and outbound communications are handled by a seasoned professional. This person will work in conjunction with your legal team, marketing department, and CEO to ensure messaging is both accurate and engaging.
Myth#3: Isn’t PR just for a time of Crisis?
Reality: PR should be an ongoing activity. If a company waits until there is a major issue to hire an agency or pro, then that’s a major hurdle. And the truth is, if companies are utilizing PR correctly year-round, most major crises’ can be avoided the majority of the time.
Myth#4: PR is “Fun and Exciting”
Reality: We’ve seen the clichés. The young hot-shot publicist or marketing executive on television; drinking and partying ala Samantha on Sex in the City. Or Don Draper on Mad Men; going to luxurious parties and events. That is all fiction.
Although PR could certainly be fun and creative, it’s mostly built on consistency and hard work. According to CareerCast’s 2019 list of the most stressful jobs in America, PR executives are in the top 10. Stressors like deadlines and client expectations can feel overwhelming at times; and it can be especially difficult to unwind in today’s always-on business world.
Myth#5: It is easy to handle my own PR; it’s just sending out press releases right?
Reality: While distributing press releases from time to time is part of a cohesive PR strategy; these days, PR consists of non-stop editorial pitching, messaging documents, managing social media, working with collaborators/influencers and more. This is a big job and results take time, patience, and consistency.
This guest blog post was written by Jonathan Abramson from Bluetone PR. If you are interested in learning how public relations can help your product startup, contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 619-807-6349.