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4 Common Misconceptions About Public Relations

Almost everyone has heard of Public Relations, but if you take a poll asking them what PR is, you will get different responses most of which do not reflect what PR truly is. So, this article will discuss common misconceptions about PR. If you are still standing outside, I urge you to come inside, grab a seat and let’s talk.

Misconception #1

PR is the same with Advertising

Common Misconceptions About Public Relations -  While it is tempting to put PR and Advertising in the same WhatsApp group, both of them play different roles.
While it is tempting to put PR and Advertising in the same WhatsApp group, both of them play different roles.

While it is tempting to put PR and Advertising in the same WhatsApp group, both of them play different roles. To buttress this point, let us look at their definitions. The Public Relations Society of America defines Public Relation as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Advertising on the other hand is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea (William J. Stanton. Fundamentals of Marketing. McGraw-Hill). Both are communication tools but the objectives for which they are used are clearly different.

Misconception #2

PR twists the truth

Common Misconceptions About Public Relations - For years, PR has engaged the use of storytelling in her campaigns. In doing this, PR do not spin yarns of deceit.
For years, PR has engaged the use of storytelling in her campaigns. In doing this, PR do not spin yarns of deceit.

For years, PR has engaged the use of storytelling in her campaigns. In doing this, PR do not spin yarns of deceit. Rather, PR researches the organization, extracts the key messages and create a narrative that suits the organization. Moreover, PR builds beneficial relationships between organizations and their public, how then will she achieve this trust if her process is not honest nor transparent?

Misconception #3

PR is undemanding

Common Misconceptions About Public Relations - Contrary to what people believe, PR is not a walk in the park.
Contrary to what people believe, PR is not a walk in the park.

Contrary to what people believe, PR is not a walk in the park. Let me paint a scenario. You think you are done with work but as soon as you pick your bag to go TGIF, your inbox pings with a client brief and in quick succession, two more briefs find their way to your email. Summary is, your Friday groove is gone and in comes a Parte after Parte of strategy sessions because the clients’ deadline is closer than you can imagine. So, if you think PR is easy-breezy, can I urge you to reevaluate?

Misconception #4   

PR methods are archaic

Common Misconceptions About Public Relations - PR history dates back to the 1900s. Even with an ancient history, PR has not remained static.
PR history dates back to the 1900s. Even with an ancient history, PR has not remained static.

PR history dates back to the 1900s. Even with an ancient history, PR has not remained static. In fact, PR has tapped into the Digital space and this has birthed what we now know as Digital PR. Digital PR is an online marketing strategy used to increase the online presence of businesses. This union between PR and Digital reiterates the fact that PR is evolving.

Which misconception about PR have you always known?

These misconceptions are only a dip out of the large pool of mix-ups about PR. I hope that with these few points of mine, I have been able to convince you that PR loves storytelling, abhors deceit and is a dynamic integrated marketing communication tool.

Which misconception about PR have you always known? Tell us in the comment section.

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