Getting the Story Straight: Popular Myths about PR and the Truth
Remember how Cuba Gooding Jr. asks Tom Cruise to yell “Show me the money!” in Jerry MaGuire? Then and only then can Tom Cruise, or Jerry, remain his agent. Much like representing a pro athlete, marketing and public relations is a collage of clients who all have different needs and desires that we have to meet in order to retain them. But as we attend more and more tradeshows to meet more and more prospective clients, we are beginning to realize how little people know about PR and marketing.
Here we present the most common myths we’ve heard around the office, and even some we’ve believed to be true, and soon realized was far from it.
Myth: PR is only about glitz and glam on the red carpet
We mention to people that we’re in public relations and they say we work with celebrities. Sure, we work with a few celebrities but the amount of man power, will power, and motivation we need to have in order to get a celebrity on our radar goes beyond the requirements of a 9-5 job. A lot of behind the scenes work has to occur before account executives get to enjoy the perks of their job i.e. attending red carpet events and openings.
With that said…
Myth: Marketing jobs are 9-5
Mari Escamilla, Hispanic Media Manager and Account Executive at Marketing Maven Public Relations says that, “people often think that once the clock strikes 5, we’re out of there. In reality, media could call at any hour based on their deadlines and we are a client’s beck and call…including weekends!”
Speaking of clients…
Myth: PR is for celebrities only
Public relations encompasses the management of client’s and/or their products and services. PR isn’t just for celebrities. Do you have a product ready and stocked but don’t know how to get it out in the world? This is where public relations comes in. While our marketing end will try to get your product placed in major media, public relations follows suit by relating to the public with your product, or simply put: publicizing your product.
Myth: PR is the same thing as advertising
PR isn’t just for celebrities and it’s far from advertising. Advertising is paid ad space and you know exactly when an ad will air. Public relations however works to get free publicity by using press releases and news exposure and other free media exposure via magazines, newspapers, online blogs/sites etc. In PR, once you have over your client’s content to an editor for example, you lose all control over how it is handled whereas advertising gives complete creative control to the person paying for the ad.
Myth: PR people tell you what to say
Before Carly Boulier came to Marketing Maven PR as a Graphic Designer she thought PR comprised of a group of people who coached you on what is “politically correct” to say and/or how to present yourself to the public. Although public relations can help with image, it is mostly about generating news and buzz around a product, service, company, or yes, even a celebrity. Having surrounded herself with PR and marketing at Marketing Maven public relations, Boulier said, “I now realize it is much more complex than people telling others what to say!”
Myth: Social Media People are Spammers
Sure we’ve all received constant messages from our friends on Facebook, but the social media part of public relations helps to manage your brand/company/service by reaching out to people. Sometimes that involves asking our friends to like a page but afterwards, anything we send out is related to something that can benefit a future customer!
What myths have you heard or fallen prey to if you are in the PR/Marketing business?
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