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