Common Misconceptions About Public Relations Pt. 2

In the second part of our ongoing series, we continue to debunk some of the common misconceptions about public relations. (You can read part 1 here.) As straightforward as PR sounds, the industry often works in many different specializations. The day-to-day tasks of a PR pro will undoubtedly never look the same, so let’s clear up four more common misconceptions.

Misconception #4: Public relations results happen overnight.

PR is a useful tool for helping companies generate sales. While sometimes you can drive immediate coverage with high value media, in most cases media coverage is not something that happens immediately. There is never a guarantee that promoting a product or service will encourage buyers to come pounding on your door. However, good PR strategies and building positive coverage amongst your priority audiences with a steady cadence of on-message coverage is a steadfast way of increasing leads and public interest that will captivate prospects and lead to conversions.

Misconception #5: Public relations is just sending out press releases.

Sending out good-quality press releases is part of a great PR strategy, but gaining the attention of editors and reporters in a way that leads to high-value coverage is often a result of going the extra mile – through direct contact via phone calls and emails that are direct, brief, and relevant to the upcoming article. The most successful PR pros are also constantly seeking out and landing opportunities for their clients through different platforms, including news segments, podcasts, blog posts, social media , influencers, and more. Through consistency and patience, PR pros are more likely to see optimal results by employing a cross-platform strategy.

Misconception #6: Public relations and marketing are the same thing.

It is true that companies can use both PR and marketing strategies to help raise awareness of their brand. However, they are not the same thing and instead should work together to support the other. The goal of marketing is to sell and promote products and services through purchased or owned channels, whereas PR seeks to land third-party validation and endorsement through media and influencer coverage – delivering impartial credibility to the client’s favorable brand reputation and expertise to current and new audiences. PR pros will promote your brand’s value and strengthen its community relations through press release distribution, partnership opportunities, speaking and awards, and more.

Misconception #7: Public relations is only for external audiences.

When most people think of public relations, they view it as an activity aimed at audiences outside the organization. Doing so overlooks some outstanding opportunities to address the need for internal communications that can also be vital to success. For example, in the case of mergers/acquisitions, a vital role is played by proactive messaging to both the company acquiring and the company being acquired to lay down the rationales, benefits, and future plans of the new organization. When building the organization due to growth, it’s essential to have a well-thought-out and diligently implemented recruiting plan that respects and reflects the current team while motivating the best candidates to join; and, in times of crisis or reputational challenges, internal communications to inform the stakeholders, reassure staff, and provide a firm stance for moving forward is a valuable asset to providing a united front to overcome threats to the integrity of the company. So, you can see, implementing a strong external PR program is great, but don’t forget to balance these programs with a strong commitment to effective internal conversations as well.

At Pierpont, we are committed to utilizing best practices in public relations to foster an outstanding relationship with our clients and deliver tangible results that position their business and reputation for success.

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