Have you ever had to explain to someone what public relations really is about? Throughout my time as public relations major, it has become clear to me that the general depiction about public relations is inaccurate. This misconstrued idea of PR has evolved from media such as television and movies. Nevertheless, everyone has some preconceived ideal of what a PR practitioner really does.
Here are 5 communion misconceptions about PR professionals that drive me crazy:
- PR Pros distort the truth
The most common thing I hear about public relation professionals is that they use spin. They take the story at an angle, distort the truth and fix the problem. While PR pros do fix the problem, they do not distort the truth or fix the problem by ‘sweeping in under the rug’. Instead, a PR profession will accept the situation and create an action plan.“Spin” should never be used by an ethical PR professional. PR is all about building connections and relationships with the public. This brand must never be built off of lies. An open and honest line of communication with the audience is key to a successful reputation.
- It’s glamorous
While you may love to have a job like Samantha Jones, being a PR professional is nothing like that. I blame TV and movies for creating this false dramatization of the fabulous life of the public relations practitioner. While being in PR can be a dream job for some, you must be willing to give it your call in order to become successful in the field. A PR pro is more than a middle aged, white woman who is good at talking to people.
- It’s a 9-5 job
While many believe that a PR pro only works from 9-5, this could not be further from the truth. Public Relations is a 25/8 job. You need to be ready and prepared at all hours of the day. You never know when a PR crisis may develop or a company needs an emergency press release. The industry does not sleep and neither should you.
- All PR is good PR
This is an old saying that I hear from others outside of the industry say most frequently. While, a negative new story may create more publicity for your client, scandals and bad news can be damaging to your clients brand and reputation. Therefore, not all PR is good for you and your client’s goal of building relationships with the public.
What false stories about Public Relations drive you crazy? How do we resolve these misconceptions?