Publicity For Good’s List of 10 Common PR Myths and Misconceptions


There are many opinions about PR that circulate on the internet. PR, unfortunately, suffers from some myths and misconceptions that we’ll be tackling here. Having a proper understanding of these errors can allow business owners and marketing specialists to use PR strategies and methods more effectively for a brand’s growth and expansion.

As such, let’s get into debunking some of these PR myths and misconceptions starting with—

There’s No Such Thing As Bad Publicity

The adage may have worked for PT Barnum in the 19th century when people would flock to view the insanity that the ringleader had to offer, but today, this is just plain bad advice. Bad stories and bad news is simply that — bad.

Mass accessibility to media and information has made it impossible for brands to evade negative hearsay or stories. Today, failing to manage bad press can easily translate to a loss in sales and, worse, tarnishing your brand’s pristine image.

Public relations has become an indispensable tool for businesses and PR professionals to manage bad press and preserve a brand’s image and reputation.

PR is Solely For Crisis Management

If you only planned for a public relations crisis at its onset, then you’ve already failed your business and its precious image. Proper PR should be integrated into a business’ comprehensive marketing strategy to prevent and manage PR events and issues — including mitigating crises.

Planning for your PR is a multifaceted endeavor that should include a campaign for messaging, outreach, influencer, and media relations among many others. All of which will affect the brand’s image and public perception.

PR Doesn’t Drive Sales

PR is an essential part of a brand’s marketing mix. It simply isn’t true that PR only affects a brand’s public persona. Generating positive feedback from publications, influencers and consumers can easily translate into revenues for a brand.

As much as good PR can drive sales, bad PR can result in consumers boycotting a brand. So it’s important to never underestimate the power of PR in your brand’s performance.

Only Bad Products Need PR

Though bad products can suffer from negative consumer opinions, it doesn’t mean that these products are the only ones needing a PR boost.

Even good products need a push in PR. Consider this — say you have an excellent product, but what’s the point of trying to sell it if it’s too unknown for anyone at all to recognize? It’s not only a matter of obscurity, there are also good products that have fallen from the top because they failed to stay relevant.

PR can enable these brands to rise and be heard. Through the power of storytelling and advocacy, PR can give a voice to brands so they can share with the world the awesome goods that they have to offer.

PR is All About Spin

You hear it too often that PR firms do nothing but lie to get a brand ahead of others. Though it’s common industry practice to spin a brand’s image to place a brand in a positive light, it’s hardly lying. PR firms and effective PR strategies rely on transparency and effectively communicating a brand’s story and perspectives to generate a positive image for a brand.

Toxic tactics such as lying and twisting reality are vastly outdated models that any common consumer can smell from miles away.

PR is All About Press Releases and Conferences

The tasks of a public relations firm or department don’t end with conjuring press releases and planning for conferences. PR also involves content creation and social and digital media planning. PR also manages a brand’s image and messaging to influence consumer perceptions.

It’s All a Matter of Selling Platform, Not Content

Saying that a platform is all that matters is akin to saying that a storefront is a brand’s most significant asset. Consumers recognize the value of easy wins. It’s a great practice for brands to provide both consumers and media with reliable and useful content that improves their lives somehow.

Allowing consumers and media personalities to have easy wins and free resources elevates your brand experience, drawing in even more positive press and, eventually, sales.

Business Owners Can Do Everything a Publicist Can

While it may be admirable for a business owner to play the martyr and hold up the fort solo, it’s hardly ideal. If business owners prioritized expansion and growth, then they shouldn’t spread themselves out too thinly.

The value of a publicist shouldn’t be overlooked. PR Firms and dedicated publicists hold valuable media connections and have a wellspring of experience to efficiently navigate the field. While an owner can take the reins, it shouldn’t mean they shouldn’t employ the help of a more seasoned professional — especially if they want to achieve growth.

Only Big Publications Matter

Big media matters, there’s no denying that. But they’re not the be-all-end-all of a decent PR campaign. While big publications can allow your brand to have an impressive reach, more niche opportunities, events, personalities, and publications allow brands to target a very specific audience.

The age of content creators and social media has spawned the presence of several small, but relevant figures capable of making or breaking brands. So gone are the days when the only chance your brand has to get exposure is getting a feature on national TV, Radio, or News.

PR is Only For Big Business

Large conglomerates greatly benefit from PR, yes, but budding brands and companies need to have proper PR protocols in place for them to expand. While big businesses can hold PR teams in-house, smaller brands don’t have that privilege.

Through PR, smaller brands can get the exposure and coverage that they need to grow and expand. Many businesses may opt-out of hiring a PR firm due to budget constraints, it’s undeniable that investing in a PR firm also can accelerate a  brand’s growth.

It is Publicity For Good’s mission to identify and seek out purpose-driven brands both big and small to elevate them and make them leaders in their space. While the firm manages your PR tasks, business owners and teams can focus on other things that matter.

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About Me

Heather DeSantis is the CEO and Founder of Publicity For Good (PFG), Forbes 30 Under 30 nominee, PRNEWS Top Women in PR 2021 Entrepreneurs Award, Platinum PR Awards CEO Finalist 2021 and Ragan’s PR Daily Award – PR Leader of the Year for 2021 and has been working with CPG clients for nearly a decade.

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