It’s an urban legend: the brassy, bawdy image of Samantha Jones, the PR professional who acts about as professional as—well, I digress. This portrayal of the world of public relations got me thinking, how do people outside of PR think about PR? Other faces of PR you might’ve seen in the media include the loveable, but slightly inept, Bridget Jones of Bridget Jones’ Diary, as well as the reality TV titans: Chris Jenner, mother, manager and PR representative of all things Kardashian, and Kelly Cutrone, fashion house PR extraordinaire, from Kell on Earth. But how accurate are these representations? There are several misconceptions about public relations that have gone on far too long. It’s time to dispel the myths and debunk the rumors.
1. Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Can anyone? We haven’t kept up- but one thing we do know is that PR is not a glamorous world full of exotically beautiful sisters. PR certainly has elements of glamour, but our job involves nitty-gritty facts more often than sharing stories about Kim and Kanye.
2. PR Professionals just pitch
We aren’t just here to pitch the media, more often than not PR professionals are the ones creating the content to deliver.
3. Anyone can tweet
That of course isn’t a myth- anyone CAN tweet. But not everyone can develop and implement innovative, cost-effective communication strategies, especially within the ever-increasing world of social media. Just because you have a twitter account does not make you competent at integrating traditional communication with digital communication. PR professionals bridge the traditional and digital divide to help clients achieve their business goals through a variety of forums.
4. A PR Professional is just another vendor
Not only is this thinking faulty; it can be detrimental to the success of a PR team. Rather than viewing them as vendors, think about the PR firm or professional as part of your company. By integrating them into your team, the results will be much more effective.
5. A PR Professional is only a “spin-master”
This job isn’t about spreading propaganda or manipulating people. With the amount of information readily available to the public now, lies unravel faster than ever and always find their way back to the source. This will ruin a reputation and undo any good publicity garnered for the client. Manipulation and half-truths only harm clients in the long run.
These myths misrepresent the PR world. The fruit of public relations can be seen all around you, and new ways of communication are constantly being evolved by public relations professionals. To find out more about what PR really entails, check out the rest of our blogs at http://www.sammisochoa.com/portfolio/blog/.