5 common misconceptions about public relations

Myths about PR—its practice and its practitioners—abound. Here’s a reality check, along with guidance about how to proceed and missteps to avoid.

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PR remains shrouded in myth.

Even in professional circles, debates rage about the objectives of PR, how measurable the results are and what competencies PR agents need. Let’s dispel five stubborn myths about public relations:

Myth No. 1: PR can do anything.

If you look good and talk smoothly, any media outlet will open its doors to you, right? This is a dangerous misconception, which can lead not just to failing to achieve what you planned, but also to seriously damaging your company’s reputation by using amateurs. Another manifestation of this attitude is thinking that you can delegate PR to your secretary for a couple of hours per day or take care of it yourself in your free time.

Don’ts: Don’t start working with the first candidate or contractor who wears a lovely suit and talks pretty about their accomplishments. Don’t choose based on price alone. Don’t try to shove PR duties on those who have never done PR before.

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