Demystifying five common myths of Public Relations

Public relations is a progressive community yet brands and individuals fall prey to several common myths associated with PR. To debunk these myths and understand the nitty-gritty of public relations directly from an expert I got into a conversation with Amith Prabhu, Co-founder of PRAXIS and the Founding Dean at the School of Communication & Reputation (SCoRe) in Mumbai.

This blog unveils five of the most common myths about Public relations that will break the false perception of PR as a promotion approach.

PR is only about appearing in magazines & on TV

Fact: Largely brands think that but getting media coverage is merely one of the many functions that public relations perform. Apart from pitching journalists, and distributing press releases, Public relations entails other areas of reputation management like content development, maintaining stakeholder relations, crisis management, idea generation, and enhancing online visibility of the brand.

All these functions are part of the PR process and when are executed together, intensify the brand’s relationship with its public.

PR is not quantifiable

Fact: Measuring the effectiveness of public relations may sometimes turn out to be vague but with the advancement in knowledge and tech now it is possible to track results by evaluating the particular objectives of media outreach activities in the light of predetermined business objectives.

However, it is an undeniable argument that the tools & methods used to validate the achievement of PR goals are not always accurate and also not appropriate for measuring certain aspects of ever-growing public relations.

PR and Advertising is the same thing

Fact: It is one of the most common misconceptions among brands caused by the emergence of the social media era.

Though the digital inception has started to blur the lines between advertising and PR still there are aspects present that clearly differentiates both. Advertising and PR both are part of the marketing mix but advertising is a form of paid media whereas PR gets you earned media that you don’t need to pay for. The story endorsed by the trusted third party increases the brand credibility. Although, publicity getting through PR is less controllable than advertising and it is in the hands of journalists how they take it. PR builds trust and derives long term benefits unlike advertising getting immediate sales.

Digital PR has taken over the traditional PR

Fact: There is nothing as digital PR or traditional PR. There is the only discipline which is public relations and there are different techniques for doing it. We can use the traditional method, digital method, or even sometimes both depending upon needs to achieve PR goals.

Traditional PR helps you to gain offline publicity which can be further leveraged by digital means.

The digital or online way of doing PR encompasses four elements search, social, app, and display.

  • Search with the help of SEO makes your brand discoverable by ranking you on top.

  • Social includes paid, earned, and owned media that communicates your story at different platforms.

  • Application or mobile pushes the traffic to your landing page, and

  • Display ads are digital ads targeted to the audience to take instant action.

Similarly, many times the hybrid of offline and online publicity is used for the ultimate success of a public relations plan.

PR is for big businesses

Fact: Old school of thought derived myth giving rise to the perception that public relations is a matter of only business giants having a huge budget for marketing & PR.

On the contrary, public relations is not an expensive affair like advertising, and helps you to carefully position your brand, create awareness, earn free and favorable publicity without spending too much.

From SMB’s up to MNC’s every business requires building relationships and gaining the trust of its public irrespective of its size, scale, and budget.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Shifta Alim
Shifta Alim is born in Kota, Rajasthan. and currently is a final year student of Masters in Journalism & Mass Comms. 2020 class at IIS University, Jaipur.

People find her to be an upbeat, and self-motivated team player. She is passionate about Public relations and has interned thrice in a Branding & Marketing agency. Her experience includes content writing, social media management, and client servicing.

When she is not working, you can find her cuddling with her cat and watching shows at OTT platforms.

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