As the world gets more interconnected and information becomes more readily available, the importance of Public Relations (PR) has increased enormously. However, with the growth comes a host of misconceptions about what public relations is and is not. In this article, we aim to dispel some of these myths and clarify what public relations is not. PR is not just about getting media coverage, PR is not just about spinning news to make it positive, PR is not just about crisis management and PR is not advertising.
PR is a vital component of any successful business or organization. However, it’s important to remember that PR is not advertising, spin, crisis management, and a quick fix. PR is a long-term strategic effort to build and maintain positive relationships between a company and its stakeholders. By understanding what PR is not, we can better understand what it is and how it can benefit our businesses and organisations.
To further buttress my point that PR is not advertising. Note that although most people mistake advertising and business promotion to be PR, it is beyond that. The two terms -PR and Advertising, both strive to promote a business or product, but do so in different ways. PR seeks to acquire media coverage through earned media and relationship-building with journalists and other media professionals, while advertising is the paid placement of a message in a particular medium. Purchasing ad space in a publication or on a billboard is not PR. It’s about building relationships with journalists and the media to create positive coverage of your company.
Likewise, PR is not propaganda. A lot of individuals have this misconception that public relation is propaganda. Take for instance, a politician’s reputation is at stake because of what he did or said, if he then comes out to defend what he said or cover up what he did, most people automatically term it PR. It is important to know that Public Relations does not aim to peddle lies. Rather Public Relations strive to provide the public and media with true and accurate information about any situation.
It’s essential to have credible and moral PR professionals who can provide accurate information to the public. Despite the fact that PR professionals focus on the positive aspects of a company or product, they need to constantly strive to give a fair and impartial picture of every situation.
Also note that PR is not crisis management. This is a very common practice in PR and unfortunately, PR has been reduced to this by some people. PR is beyond crisis management or damage control; it extends to the brand’s general image. This does not in any way mean that PR professionals do not play a role in maintaining a company’s reputation during a crisis, they do but that is not the sole goal of PR. Building and sustaining positive relationships between a business and its stakeholders, such as customers, employees, investors, and the community, requires a long-term strategic effort which is public relations (PR). The long-term branding of the company and the development of positive messaging are the responsibilities of PR professionals.
Finally, PR is not a quick fix or occasional, it is a continual effort that requires constant monitoring, evaluation, and modification for a positive brand image. Simply put, PR is not just one of the services, it requires continuity.
PR professionals must continuously assess the media coverage they are receiving and modify their plans as necessary. They must also be prepared to pivot quickly if circumstances change or if a crisis arises. These professionals are essential to making PR what it is and helping your brand stand out.
For best PR practice, it is important to look for a consultancy that has professionals with commendable experiences and good customer service. Professionals with mastery and in-depth knowledge of the profession. A consultancy that stands out and is vision driven. A consultancy that has the client at heart. A consultancy like C&F Porter Novelli.