There are a lot of misconceptions about Public Relations. This article aims at debunking some of those myths.
In contemporary times, where social media has become an indispensable part of our lives on many levels (private, by connecting us to family and friends on a scale never seen before, and public, by showering our newsfeeds with advertising, calls to action and brand campaigns), a lot of people believe PR is becoming a thing of the past.
Moreover, many responses I get when I ask whether someone is aware of what PR is, go along the lines of “Isn’t it chatting to journalists and sending press releases out?”. While this isn’t necessarily a wrong response, these activities are only a fraction of what Public Relations professionals face every day.
To better explain what I mean by the above statement, let’s go back to the basics – the theory behind PR. Back in 1952, PR’s founding father, Edward L. Bernays, in his book, simply entitled Public Relations, pointed out three fields of activity, which are covered by the term “public relations”:
- Information – specifically, “information given to the public”;
- Persuasion – specifically, “persuasion directed at the public to modify attitudes and actions”;
- Integration – specifically, “efforts to integrate attitudes and actions of an institution with its publics and of publics with that institution:”.
From the points mentioned above, we can derive the core of what PR is supposed to do:
- First, it serves as a point of education and making the public aware of the existence of a product or service;
- Second, it aims at persuading that public that the product or service in question meets their needs;
- And finally, and in my opinion, most importantly, its goal is to create a connection. The two above mentioned points could easily be used when talking about advertising or marketing in general – however, it is the public relations part of the marketing mix that allows potential customers to feel and relate to the brand or company in question.
How are these achieved? Our handy infographic lays out key areas of PR activity in bite size form.
So why does your company need Public Relations? Because, despite common misconceptions, PR integrates all aspects of your organisation’s public image, aligns them with your aspirations and goals, creates bespoke strategies and content, and executes the established strategy in a way that touches your desired audience and gives them a sense of belonging. It gives the incentive to become a part of something bigger – the “bigger” being your organisation’s big idea.
Want to learn more about what PR can do for you? Contact us today to discuss how we can utilise PR to raise your profile.
 E. L. Bernays, Public Relations, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman 1952