“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for,” says the popular business proverb. And it’s true! Publicity can be positively priceless.
A Nielsen study focused around ‘content’s role in the consumer decision-making process’ found public relations to be substantially more effective than advertising in impacting people—up to 90 percent! In general, advertisements are seen as companies touting their own goods and services, while a public relations message from a trusted third party can be far more convincing.
PR is vital for any brand. Yet, many business owners are unaware of its potential impact or don’t know how to successfully generate publicity. Compounding the problem are the myriad of myths that surround the practice.
Below we’ve addressed five common misconceptions business owners often have about public relations.
All publicity is good publicity.
As the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
In reality, the dangers of bad press can’t be overstated.
Negative publicity travels at light speed and can result in irreparable damage to a business’ relationship with customers and investors. It’s one thing to be the talk of the town, but your company’s reputation is being destroyed if all that talk is negative.
Should your company ever find itself mired in a public relations crisis, having a strong communication team on hand can ensure your response is proactive and quickly takes control of the narrative.
PR is spin and propaganda.
The public perception of PR is often gleaned from portrayals in movies or TV programs, so it’s a common misconception that industry professionals get paid to distort the truth and deceive the public. However, in real life, PR teams aim to share sincere, factual information by reaching their target audience through the media. By cultivating trusted relationships with journalists, a PR team can tell a business’ story in a compelling and memorable way that most advertisements cannot.
PR is a waste of money.
Business owners are often unaware that many PR strategies are long-term efforts that build awareness and brand loyalty over time. We’re talking campaigns that take weeks, months or even years to see the desired results.
Businesses commonly seek out a public relations partner to help with building brand awareness, maintaining/improving their public image, promoting an event, or creating buzz for a new store or product launch.
PR = press conferences and media releases.
While both press conferences and media releases are still an important component of public relations, they can no longer stand alone in today’s digital world. Social media has become a key channel to efficiently deliver a message directly to the public and digital influencers.
The client is always right.
All business owners want news coverage, but if there isn’t anything interesting to communicate to the public, it’s important their PR teams are honest with them.
Pitches should always pass a “So what?” test as journalists will only cover stories that provide value to their audience, whether in print or broadcast.
In some instances, information can be reframed. News about a fundraiser, for example, could be laid out as a human-interest story. Explaining how the organization has specifically helped a local family makes the message more engaging, and ultimately more interesting.
It can be easy to do whatever the client wants, but if it’s clear a story doesn’t fit the interest of the audience, pitching it is a waste of time and can hurt media relationships.
Since its inception in the early 1900s, the public relations industry has often been misunderstood and stigmatized, with many myths pervading the discipline.
What’s the truth?
An effective public relations strategy drives web traffic, generates leads, establishes trust and authority, and attracts new customers and quality employees.
If you’re interested in seeing what good publicity can do for your business, contact Baer Performance Marketing today.