Bill Gates once said: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”
As one of the world’s most successful business entrepreneurs in the area of technology, this quote is a testament to the power of PR when used appropriately. Yet, there are still many myths surrounding the discipline from its benefits to how it is measured.
As we grow our Public Relations Division, adding even more value for our clients, this post busts some of the more popular myths to give you a better understanding of how PR can help you and your business.
1. Myth: PR is no different to advertising
Truth: Advertising is ‘paid for’ visibility while PR is ‘earned visibility’. The critical difference being that PR content is usually endorsed through a third party. The consumer has a very different perception about a company that advertises versus one being endorsed by a publication or online channel. PR coverage is much more credible in the mind of the consumer, hence solidifying the reputation of the company in question.
2. Myth: PR is easy and I can do it myself
Truth: Developing strategy, continuously maintaining media relationships, idea generation, content planning, audience identification and targeting, and writing, are just some of the elements of PR and while a business owner may want to do it themselves from a cost perspective, we should warn you it’s a full time job. In terms of ease, this is debatable but with over ten years of PR experience in the JPd office, it pays to have someone who knows that they are doing. A company’s reputation can take a lot of time to build up and it takes just one mistake to destroy it.
3. Myth: I only need the services of a PR agency in times of trouble
Truth: Market research has continually shown that a customer needs to know, trust, and believe in your product or service before buying, with the general rule of thumb being at least seven interactions. So if you’re only reaching out during difficult times, it’s unlikely to be effective. You need to tell your story consistently, making sure your audience knows your values and trusts your brand. This takes time and is an on going process, so when the tough times do come, you’ll be ready.
4. Myth: PR drives sales
Truth: PR can certainly influence the number of leads an organisation may receive, however, it’s not necessarily the primary objective. PR is all about building awareness, reputation management, engaging potential clients, driving loyalty, and ultimately developing trust. While such a strategy may lead to an increase in sales, it’s not the number one objective.
5. Myth: PR professionals are paid to party
Truth: While it may seem glamorous, and all you need to generate good coverage is to have an active social life, many PR professionals would argue otherwise. Hosting the perfect media event is hard work and there’s a lot of planning that goes on in the background to make sure the desired results are achieved. Early mornings, late nights, and long hours are par for the course, and it has to be done with a professional, positive, and solution-oriented attitude, at all times.
6. Myth: PR has no business value
Truth: There are various ways to measure the value of an executed public relations strategy, all of which depend on the business and communication objectives. For most companies, it’s about the amount of press coverage received which is normally measured against advertising rates, with earned visibility considered three times more valuable than paid visibility. There are other ways to measure such as number of speaking engagements, number of leads (if the company in question is monitoring their sources of leads), business introductions, trade show exposure and so on.
Productive PR drives business goals and as an up and coming business, it’s important to have an expert PR team handling your strategy. For more information on how we can drive this change in your company, contact the JPd team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are an award-winning boutique Branding and PR Agency based in Dubai, UAE, specializing in strategic branding and public relations solutions that are relative in today’s glocal and competitive marketplace.
Working with SME's and corporate enterprises within the UAE and over 12 countries around the globe, the JPd team are proud to have worked with over 200 clients in 15+ industries including recognised brands such as dusitD2 Hotels, Ultratravel Collection, GHA, Nikki Beach Hotels & Resorts, Swislog, Al Othaim Leisure & Tourism, Attibassi Coffee, SevenSeas, Dubai Government, plus many more.
Telephone: +971 04 554 7081