You think you know PR, right? That doing PR is not difficult, that PR is all about having fun…
I have to say, I might have heard it all. I used to laugh whenever someone came to me saying they haven’t studied it, they haven’t read about it, they had no contact with the field whatsoever, but they think they would be great Public Relations representatives. So, here it goes…
1st of all – Anyone on the streets knows how to manage Public Relations. No, they don’t. And you know why? Because it requires a certain professional skill set – good communication, patience, creativity, ambition, a friendly personality, etc. It is true that anyone can learn how to master the basics of PR like writing a press release or learn how to paint a brand or product from another perspective, but it all comes down to the skills you acquired through life experience most.
2nd – Bad publicity is still publicity! God, no! Think that and you fail. Bad publicity is awful, bad publicity makes products lose credibility in front of customers, bad publicity makes brands disappear. No car company wants to be associated with most accidents in one year, no watches company wants to give their clients skin rashes because of the blend they treat their metals with, no food company can be okay after selling infested meat.
3rd – PR gives you a lot of free time to do whatever you want to do. Yeah sure, you can paint your nails if you can find time between filling in daily reports, doing research, setting up interviews for your clients, going to interviews with the clients, solving issues, writing letters, translating articles, brainstorming and explaining to the client your ideas, attending product launching. maybe eating and going to the bathroom…
4th – Life as a PR representative is a big party! Of course there is a little party involved, a PR needs to socialize and make the most of networking and creating connections. But that takes 2 hours of a week, tops! The other hours are filled with researching, brainstorming, act of creation and pitching. Still, nothing wrong with pitching your clients to the media during a cocktail, but that is not the big picture of a PR’s life.
5th – PR is all about the press release so if you nailed that one, you’re going to do great! Oh no, knowing how to write a good press release is just a small part of the ocean PR is. It is important but not enough, that is just one of the tools that help build your client’s image and reputation. Also, in big agencies, there are people who write amazing press releases and other who have no idea how to that, because their skills can be used is some other departments. The press release is a great tool to get the message out there, but you still need other skills to pitch, support the Social Media part and talk about information in the press release without knowing it by heart.
6th – PR is used to lie and cover up mistakes of brands. Do not mistake a PR pro for a lawyer! Of course there are pros and cons in every field, but a PR agency is not a gathering of moral degenerates who lie for their clients. A PR takes care of a brand’s reputation and that means no lying is involved. They do, however, build strategies in order to solve that company’s issue and clear its reputation. Just like in life, lying gets you nowhere and any PR pro knows that.
7th – A PR campaign can replace the Sales department. This is the most common misconception, so I am going to make it very clear: PR does not equal Sales and PR results can’t be seen overnight. What PR does for you is create brand visibility and awareness, so that people know you exist. It also handles reputation management and enhances your credibility so that when your sales department contacts a potential client, they already know you can be trusted and so the sale closes faster and better. It can turn cold leads into warm leads, which I hope makes it easy to understand now – PR helps Sales, but is not Sales.
PR really is more than meets the eye. Yes, it is press releases and parties, but it also is creating brand consistency, good writing and communication, strategic thinking, brainstorming and idea pitching, building strategies and creating media relations. And this is why a PR pro can do amazing things for your brand or company.
Photo source: effectdigital.com