Public Relations has, for many reasons, developed an interesting and controversial reputation over the short span of time it has been considered a practice. This is why business owners and the public in general have quite a few misconceptions about public relations firms. Here we will dispel seven common misconceptions that many individuals share pertaining to public relations agencies and their services.
1. PR Offers Little Business Value
This is a common misconception. Actually, communications firms create business value. Note that every company feature, product placement, executive profile and special event ultimately has tremendous power to build more credibility in the market and improve a company’s profile for the better.
2. PR Firms Distort the Truth
Many people have the sense that PR firms are all about deception and trickery. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The PR field is all about building trust and telling the truth. If a public relations firm loses the public’s hard-earned trust, all credibility goes out the window. PR firms that try to distort the truth are found out and are quickly brought to light.
3. PR Firms Only Speak to Customers
Public relations strategies are developed by PR firms to target much wider audiences than just a brand’s customers. This usually includes, but is not limited to, board members, investors, employees and other market analysts in the industry as well as anyone who has a stake in how various audience groups perceive the company.
4. PR Firms are Reactive
Public relations firms must be proactive to control the messaging, manage brand reputation effectively and position the brand for success.
5. PR Stands for Press Release
Many people think that the PR in PR firms stands for “press release” and are under the erroneous impression that PR agencies are only good for helping crank out press releases. The truth is that PR firms handle other aspects as well, like reputation management, brand positioning and crisis communication.
6. Social Media Triumphs Everything
Guess what? Not all PR firms rely solely on social media. Although it is a great tool for PR firms to get their message across to diverse audiences, note that it will not get across to all audiences. PR firms leverage many tools, like targeted media placement and special events, to get the word out.
7. PR Firms Operate Independently
The truth is that PR firms can’t operate in a vacuum. This is because they need vital information and input from various other areas in your company, like sales and marketing, to do the best job.