From the outside, PR work can seem like a pretty attractive alternative compared to some other occupations. After all, there’s parties, free food [and drink], celebrities, and hobnobbing with media, right? Well… kind of, but not really. Today we’re de-bunking some of the myths that seem to follow PR and PR pros as they try to explain to non-industry people exactly what their job entails.
Myth #1: PR=Party
Sure, PR pros tend to be out a lot. Whether running a client event, taking a media member to dinner, or attending a launch — the profession does demand a lot of social activity. Here’s the deal: although these occasions are positioned as fun nights out for most (and don’t get us wrong, they can be) — these are actually seen as networking opportunities and a chance to strengthen and build our growing base of connections. While we may be out, we’re certainly not out in the same capacity as a university freshman.
Myth #2: It’s All Glamorous
A common misconception is that the work we do is very glamorous. Sure, we get to work with some kick-ass celebrities, head into VIP sections, take clients to media engagements and the likes, but it’s important to note again, this is our work. It’s our job to make it ‘look’ glamorous. We’re the ones hustling behind the scenes to make sure a photographer gets the shot, clients stay on message, media and talent are attended to and that everything stays on track. And that’s just events. Additionally we’re known to churn through multiple press releases in a day, monitor media for both trends and clients, keep on top of an overflowing inbox.. we could go on, but you likely get the point by now.
Myth #3: PR Pros Manipulate The Media
This is likely the biggest myth of them all. Sure, our job is to help our clients get placed in media (amongst many other duties), but this is not to be seen as manipulation of media. The media can not be controlled — just ask Rob Ford. Rather, PR should be seen as an effective way to communicate your stories to media.
Myth #4: PR Can Make Anything Go ‘Viral’
If we had a nickel. Sure, PR pros can help you identify share-worthy stories that should be placed into the public eye, but there is no ‘secret formula’ to going viral. There are a number of determining factors in online content going viral including timing, relevancy, quality, story and pure luck. Like we said, we can help — but there are no guarantees in the world of ‘viral’ content.
Myth #5: Contacts Are Everything
Of course, knowing a variety of influential people is important to PR, but it’s not everything. What is everything, you ask? Having a good story. A story that is timely, relevant and will be of interest to the public. The reality is, if your story isn’t newsworthy and can’t be shaped to become so, you’ll have a hard time getting it placed in media. Plain and simple.
Do you have any PR myths that you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below!