20 Common Misconceptions About PR

Working for award winning PR agencies most of my life has made me understand that not many people understand public relations. I always remember trying to explain what I did for a living to my mum and dad.  I failed each time.

This lack of understanding didn’t stop with my parents.  Here are a few common misconceptions about public relations that I have encountered over the last 13 years while working in the industry.

  • PR is not just media relations, it is a communication discipline to help people and organisations communicate with their stakeholders.  Tactically this might include a lot of media relations but it also includes, CSR, social media, technical SEO knowhow, analytics and measurement.
  • PR is not advertising. Among other things, PR offers third party endorsement, which advertising doesn’t.
    PR is full of beautiful women, fast cars and long lunches
  • PR is a soft career option. Far from it. It is very competitive and difficult to enter as a graduate.
  • PRs work short hours are drink champagne all day
  • PR is absolutely fabulous darling
  • A PR degree is a prerequisite (I’d argue the opposite can be the case)
  • PR is full of buzzwords and jargon
  • PR = press releases
  • Cuttings are king (what about inbound links and a million and one other metrics?)
  • Bullshitters make good PRs (wrong, it’s a consultancy led business)
  • Most PRs get digital (most don’t I’m afraid)
  • Advertising Equivalent Value (AVE) is a good KPI (so, wrong)
  • You can’t be direct, upfront and honest with clients or journalists
  • Journalists make good PR (only a few can do make the jump.  You know who you are)
  • Working in house in PR is more boring than agency side
  • Good copywriters are good PRs
  • Creativity is more important that strategy
  • You need to be in London to forge a career in PR. So wrong. Read our blog post on northshoring.
  • Big agencies are better than independents
  • PR sits in isolation from marketing
  • PR is not relevant for the c-suite
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One Response

  1. Faizel says:

    PR is fun/glamorous (of course, it is sometimes … maybe about 5% of the time)
    It’s fluffy (again, it can be, but there’s usually strategy, key messages and strong communication skills behind the fluff)

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