Public Relations (PR) is one of the most effective tools at a brand’s disposal. It can help you portray a favorable image in the market. PR can also help you connect and engage with your target audience because it acts as the liaison and the bridge between you. It communicates with and seeks a place in their minds. PR is responsible for sharing accurate information at the right time with the right people. But there are many PR myths that make brands question the benefits of PR and whether it can truly help their brand or not. Here, we’ll dispel five of them.
Public Relations Myths to Avoid
Myths are stories that people believe are valid. They are far from facts, but still, they are generally accepted. They often have historical backgrounds and are passed on from generation to generation. Unfortunately, business and startup leaders often miss many opportunities by mistakenly believing myths like the following.
1. Small-Scale Companies Do Not Require Public Relations
The most common myth in the PR context is that small companies do not need public relations. In reality, small businesses and startups may need PR the most to build credibility and create awareness through media sources and influencers in their industry. While large businesses benefit from PR as well, they already have established reputations, whereas startups need to get their name in the news and build trust among their target audience.
2. PR Do Not Generate Financial Benefits
This PR myth is a wholly misleading perception. Anything a business does ultimately impacts the brand’s financial health, good or bad. The reality is that when you take time to develop relationships with the media, they are more likely to talk about you and do so favorably. In turn, your target market will be more likely to buy your products and avail of your services. PR may work more slowly than a marketing campaign, but the impact of it is long-lasting and vast.
3. If You Are Good Enough, You Do Not Need PR
Another PR myth is that having a great product means you don’t need PR. But the truth is, PR will always benefit your brand. For example, having a great product won’t matter if no one knows about it. Or, if potential customers come across your product but don’t know anything about your business, they may not trust your claims of how it can help them. What’s more, you might be a negative customer review, or an adverse event might affect your business, and PR can help here, too, by educating, clearing up misunderstanding among consumers, and changing the narrative to a more positive one for your brand.
4. PR And Advertising Are The Same
Another PR myth that has caused many problems is that people often believe developing public relations and doing advertisements are the same thing. Hence, they may end up spending the budget on advertisements which are comparatively less efficient as the cost incurred on them is reasonably high. On the other hand, PR often costs less and offers more in terms of improved reputation, positive public perception, brand awareness, and so on. From the consumer perspective, PR is credible, while advertising is often seen as exaggerated or flat-out untrue. With the world progressing and widespread awareness, consumers are now much more informed and much less impressed with “too good to be true” claims.
5. PR Is Needed For Crisis Management Only
People often mistakenly think that PR is only necessary for crisis management. However, PR can help your brand at any time. For example, before the product launch, it can lay the groundwork for positive perception, and when you launch the product, you need brand awareness and credibility. It can also help to maximize investor relations when planning for a brand extension. And, of course, as we mentioned above, PR can help with crisis management as well, not only during a crisis but also proactively to help you identify where your brand might be vulnerable. All these reasons prove that having PR at every stage of product development and during the product lifestyle is beneficial for any organization.
Getting Started with Public Relations After Clearing Up Common PR Myths
Now that you know that these common PR myths are anything but reality, you can look ahead to make sure you take advantage of the benefits of public relations for your brand. You can certainly take on this endeavor with internal staff if they have the bandwidth and expertise to do so effectively. However, it might be more time and cost-efficient to partner with a PR firm, and likely more effective too! Don’t worry, you can start small, and a good PR firm will know how to maximize your budget (whether large or small) to help you achieve your specific goals.