7 PR myths that must be demystified

Misconceptions that many seasoned marketers hold true.

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Are we living through PR’s “golden age”?

Sometimes it seems like it. Clients understand the benefits of PR and are sophisticated about the trickier aspects, like trading control for a measure of credibility. And budgets are holding up despite the shaky economy.

But other times I wonder. A favorite client of mine refers to public relations as “the cheapest form of advertising.” He means it as a compliment, but it makes me think that misconceptions about PR linger even among seasoned marketers.

Here, then, are seven myths that persist about public relations, and my perspective on each.

1. PR is advertising lite. The two are so distinct that they shouldn’t be compared, or, worse, pitted against one another. As Freddy J. Nager once put it, debating their merits is like arguing which is more important in a football game, offense or defense. It’s a useless argument because each has a different function, and they ideally work in concert.

2. PR is cheap. Although a modest PR investment is peanuts compared to, say, a national TV spot, it’s not insignificant. Budgets vary widely. The key, of course, is to match the need with the right PR resource and approach.

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