Five myths about PR that need to be de-bunked

To tell a story, you need to craft a story. We all know that PR professionals are constantly working to create a persona around a brand or an individual, and then a narrative to support such personas. What is most important to PR folks all around is finding every positive piece that an organisation has to offer, and leveraging these. Whether it is expertise, industry insight, a social message, or pure strength of the product or service offered by the company, these positive attributes of the brand or individual in question, are the pillars of any PR strategy. With such a simple agenda, but such diverse and complex ways of execution, the Public Relations domain is often misunderstood. Here are five PR myths that really need debunking!

Anyone can be a PR professional

PR as a field is backed by training, expertise and experience. PR professionals either have acquired a degree in the field, have worked as journalists or media professionals, or have years of experience in dealing with various media platforms, identifying target groups, and in crafting effective PR strategies. A legitimate PR person has gone through the ups and downs of execution, has faced roadblocks and has learnt troubleshooting skills to overcome the same. It’s about intelligent, well-researched planning and decision-making.

PR requires a ready-made overwhelming story

So, your business may not have the big story that touches people’s heart and catches their eye. That does not mean that you as an organisation do not deserve to be heard. Stories are created around the core of your company. Your ideals, your services and products & your place in the industry. Relatable stories do not come ready and waiting to blow people’s minds. The best stories are written with creativity, thought and depth of insight. And the best PR is effective over time and with some effort.

Good PR needs a one-shot-wonder moment

Ever noticed that most things that go viral on the internet eventually fade away, out of memory, even if never out of virtual existence? Taking off from the previous point, it’s important to remember that one amazing campaign, or one uber successful event will not define your voice in the public domain. It may be a stepping stone to establishing a presence, but nothing more. One of the most important aspects of good PR is consistency. One-shot-wonders don’t work in this world.

PR basically means advertising [considering that everything is paid now!]

PR and advertising may seem very similar, but on a fundamental level they are worlds apart. While advertising is paid publicity, PR is publicity that is earned. This makes it much more organic and real than advertising. This also makes it more prone to risks and roadblocks. And, that’s the beauty of it. Earning a place in people’s minds and hearts is so much more enduring and significant than paying for that place. And the fact that PR is hard-earned visibility only reiterates the last four points!

There is a plethora of ways to be heard and to gain credibility in the public domain. From social media campaigns and awareness events or workshops, to press releases, thought leadership articles and YouTube videos – the field of Public Relations is vast, diverse and ever-growing, just as its benefits to your organisation can be.

All publicity is good publicity

Getting into the public domain with irrelevant publicity will only make you forgettable, and with entirely bad publicity, will stamp you for much too long with a negative image in the public domain. Bad press is not better than no press. And good, well-planned, precisely executed press is, needless to say, advisable to any organization that wants their contributions to be recognised.

Asif Upadhye on Twitter
Asif Upadhye
Director at SPRD
Asif Upadhye, Director, SPRD | Stories.PR.Digital, a new-age Public Relations think tank backed by ideators, wordsmiths and design junkies focussed on delivering bespoke services. He sees SPRD as a Digital First Communications agency that partners with Public Relations & Corporate Communications teams to spread the good word!

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