PR Secrets: What PR Is(n't)
the professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.
the state of the relationship between the public and a company or other organization or a famous person.
"companies justify the cost in terms of improved public relations"
PR is something people have a hard time explaining. You often hear it described as “promotions” or “kind of like advertising”. For some reason, even those who live and breathe public relations struggle to explain exactly what it is they do every day.
In order to help you get a better understanding of the ins and outs of PR, we’ve debunked some of the biggest myths surrounding this ever-elusive industry.
1. “You have to pay to be featured in a magazine”
If you pay to be included in a magazine you would be paying for an advertisement – not a feature. Brands are chosen by journalists based on their quality and relevancy to the feature. Magazine coverage isn’t paid for. You earn the coverage you get and it’s this that ultimately helps to give your brand credibility.
2. “Press coverage is guaranteed”
Coverage is never guaranteed, not even for PR pros. You can never be certain that you’ll be included in a feature. Things can change last minute; the feature itself, the angle, the stylist. There are a number of reasons why your product might not make the cut. The best thing you can do is ensure you’re providing everything the editor needs. You can find out what you need to increase your chances here.
3. “The magazine will take cut out images of my product”
You MUST provide cut-out images of your product for the press. Cut-outs are images of your product against a white background. It’s down to you to give the press everything they need. If you want to be included in their piece you need to make it as easy as possible for them. Read our Instant Resources to find out exactly what you should be sending when you contact the press.
4. “I’ve been doing PR for a month – it doesn’t work!”
PR is a long process that takes time and patience. Some brands are lucky enough to be well on their way to building positive relations with the press 5 weeks in. Some brands struggle to see coverage after 5 months. As we said before, press is never guaranteed. To get the most out of PR you have to be proactive and persistent. If you stop after a month or two your brand will lose traction.
5. “Editors will remember my brand”
Unfortunately this one isn’t true either. Editors receive hundreds of messages and gifts every week from small independents doing exactly what you’re doing. No matter how good your product might be, editors and journalists are busy people. Although they may have seen and liked the look of your brand initially, if they don’t receive reminders that you exist it’s likely they’ll forget. Contrary to popular belief, they are only human.
*Check our A-Z of PR for any terms you’re unsure of.
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