Public relations receives a scarce amount of public attention, if it’s done right. The PR that we hear about most often is negative which has allowed the public to develop misconceptions about the nature of PR and the people who practice it. Here are four of the most common misconceptions about PR.
- PR, marketing and advertising are the same thing
The Public Relations Society of America defines PR as, “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
This definition allows for marketing and advertising practices to be used within PR. But, they’re ultimately three separate practices with different goals.
- An organization only needs PR once it’s in hot water
Any organization that stands behind that is in for a rude awakening. An organization is more likely to get into bad situations if it doesn’t have an updated PR plan that’s founded from continuous evaluation of the business and its publics.
Effective PR allows an organization to maintain its good reputation and mend weakened relationships, which are both known to prevent potential crises.
- PR is a 9-5 job
PR is the perfect profession for natural workaholics. Sure, you might get to the office at 9 a.m. and leave at 5 p.m., but as far as the client is concerned, you’re available 24/7.
Because most PR practitioners bring their work home with them via laptop or cloud computing, a big issue they face is learning to disengage from work at the end of the day. Some have found success in implementing a “cut off time” when they stop checking emails or merely turn off their work phone on weekends.
- All PR practitioners are spin artists
Anyone who has spent time studying or practicing PR has heard this before. More often than not, PR practitioners are about telling the truth and building trust between an organization and its publics.
As with any profession, PR has a few bad eggs that make the rest look bad, but those are few and far between. Visit the PRSA and read its member’s code of ethics for more information about what PR professional promise to do and not to do.