Public relations is a multibillion-dollar industry, and for good reason. Most brands want to work with professionals who can boost their public image and give them the right kind of press. That being said, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding about how PR works. Is it basically journalism? Do PR agencies handle social media? Does hiring a PR team guarantee that you’ll always have a golden reputation? If you’re still in the process of figuring out what an agency can do for you, all this (mis)information can be overwhelming. Today, we address some of the most common myths about PR agencies – and give you the truth.
- PR directly boosts sales – With brand reputation being as critical as it is, you might be tempted to think that hiring a good PR agency is a shortcut to more sales. Unfortunately, sales still depend on you providing great products and great customer service. What PR can do is boost your trustworthiness, which will increase interest in your brand and attract more leads. After that, it’s up to you to win over those leads.
- PR is solely about social media – Social media is undeniably vital in today’s digital world, and a PR agency will help you create the best possible presence on the platforms of your choice. However, there’s so much more to creating a presence than just your Instagram following. Emails, for instance. They might seem old-school, but smart email marketing will give you a personal connection with your clients that Instagram or TikTok just can’t replicate. A PR agency will guide you through email marketing, as well as the best combination of blogs, newsletters, webinars, events, brand collaborations and other strategies to boost you in the public eye.
- PR is the same as journalism – While both journalists and PR work with the media, their aims are different. A journalist creates and shares content for a general audience to spark their interest, while a PR agency does so to promote its client list. Often, though, PR agencies and journalists end up working together to communicate a brand story in the most effective way.
- Only large companies need PR – Think you need to become a Microsoft or an Amazon before you hire a PR agency? Think again. Ambitious brands seeking to attract media attention and take their business to the next level can benefit hugely from an expert’s opinion. And in fact, having a public image and brand story crafted in advance can come in handy when you get a new round of funding or finalise a product for launch.
- You only need PR when things go down – There’s this common view of PR agencies as being ‘fixers’ after the fact. And while crisis management is a big part of any PR programme, you also need a PR agency to help you maintain a consistent media presence so that you continue to be noticed during peacetime. Plus, with sound PR guidance, you can avert crises before they even happen.
- There’s no such thing as bad publicity – You’ll hear this one a lot, and we’ll tell you straight up that it’s completely untrue. Even the best PR agencies can’t magically make you look good if a serious error or management scandal comes to light. What they can do is help you craft an appropriate response to all the media scrutiny and a plan of action to mend things.
- PR gives you instant results – Like anything worthwhile, PR needs time and consistency to show results. That’s because PR agents will be reaching out to the best influencers to craft content, and convincing those influencers to come on board while also convincing the publication’s editor of the influencer’s merit is its own process. Moreover, for the final stories to be disseminated and to take root in the customer’s mind will take time. It’s always the long game when you’re working with PR.
- PR is too expensive – We’re happy to inform you that PR is probably your most cost-effective option when it comes to paid communication, much more so than TV or outdoor ads. While a good PR agency won’t be cheap, investing in one might be one of the best financial decisions you ever take. You’ll get credibility, a brand story, a digital strategy and solid media placements all in one – and you don’t need us to tell you the kind of customer interest that will generate.
Hopefully this clears up the confusion and gives you an objective view of what PR can accomplish – which is a lot! When you’re building a brand, you want your target audience to perceive you for what you are, which is what agencies can help with. And when you choose a reputed agency like StarSquared PR, you’re assured of thoughtful insights, creative ideas and tailored support at every step.