The truth about PR seems to be something of a trade secret. Most people have no idea about the truth even if they think they do. In many cases we find that people aren’t even sure about what working in Communications, and PR specifically, actually entails. Here is a list of the Top 5 most common misconceptions from the perspective of a top PR firm:
1. Only celebrities need PR
This is the number 1 misconception about PR (other than people not knowing what it is or having a distorted view of PR from tv or movies). We all know and love characters like C.J. Cregg from The West Wing and Samantha Jones from Sex and the City but in many cases these are the only times many people have been exposed to the world of public relations. Celebrity PR isn’t just for celebrities, heads of state, or Influencers. It’s an option –and a good one if you ask us— for businesses as well. In fact, at AMP3 PR we don’t even handle celebrity PR, we exclusively focus on PR for products, brands, and businesses in many different sectors like Fashion and Beauty PR.
2. PR is the same as advertising
Just based solely off of the definitions of both Public Relations and Advertising, we can firmly say that this one isn’t true either. According to Merriam-Webster advertising is, “the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements”. And the definition of public relations is, “the business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm, or institution”. Advertising and PR are not one and the same. The difference is usually explained by saying that advertising is media that is paid for while PR is media coverage that is earned (we do think that this is a bit of an oversimplification, but you get the idea).
3. PR is old school/PR is a dying art
Any publicist will tell you that this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are more and more businesses popping up everyday that are in need of PR representation to help them get their message out into the world in an organic way. PR is still incredibly relevant to most businesses and has evolved, as any industry should, to cater to the current market. And new waves of media have taken over in recent years, social & digital media. Media relations are at the forefront of PR these days and play a huge role in the industry. For example, Influencer Marketing via social media helps provide concrete numbers and solve the problem that many have had with PR in the past— mainly that PR isn’t measurable and therefore the results are less than concrete as compared to advertising and marketing.
4. PR is all about press releases
Yes, press releases are important, but trust us when we say that there is a lot more that goes into PR than writing press releases. Social media content creation, general content creation (i.e. blogging), NYC event management, and of course pitching would likely be the other four things to be included in the top five things a publicist is tasked with daily. This reason has a lot to do with reason #3, press releases, press conferences, and press briefings are often seen as old school, out of fashion, and something of the past unless you’re the white house press secretary. While it may be true that press briefings are less common than they were in the past, that doesn’t mean that’s the only time a press release is used. Two common ways to get the message out to the press are simply emailing the press release to a list of primary media contacts, or even just giving a release out to press before they leave a client event that they’re there to cover.
5. PR is a typical 9-5 job
Anyone at AMP3 can tell you from personal experience that this isn’t true. Besides the obvious reasons for why this isn’t true (*cough cough, the 24 hour news cycle), publicists are always on high alert, ready to jump into crisis mode in case anything major happens outside of office hours. The media and news don’t stop on the weekends or holidays, which means that a publicist never really stops working. Of course, as PR is so broad and can be implemented in any industry, there are certain specialized forms which tend to keep more or less regular hours than a typical 9-5 job.
As always, if you have any thoughts you’d like to share, make sure to engage with us on twitter using #amp3blogthoughts. We would love to hear your thoughts on if we got these misconceptions right or not!
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