Myths vs. Reality: How Outsiders Perceive Public Relations
As a public relations professional, it’s interesting to see how others perceive the industry we work in. When asked, most don’t necessarily know what public relations is exactly. Let’s lend a hand: public relations is the act of building and maintaining mutual beneficiary relationships with clients and media. Still, the world of public relations is foreign to most, and outsiders only really get an idea of PR from the entertainment industry, which is where the myths commonly step in. Many TV shows and movies featuring PR roles/professionals create a stigma around the industry, altering others perception of it. To combat the top PR related myths, we’ve compiled a few to provide folks with the reality of the situation. We hope it helps clear things up a bit!
MYTH: It’s ALL glam and parties
REALITY: NOPE– While there are some “glam moments” such as dinners with clients or appearing on a national TV set, it doesn’t describe PR in a nutshell. Public relations is like any other profession, where you begin at a lower level position and work your way up to the top. That said, there are hours of research (learning about different types of media/media contacts), content creation (drafting relevant and creative press materials) and ultimately, building relationships with media (over email & phone, in-person meetings, etc.) that are always in play. Additionally, if there is an unfortunate situation where a crisis is involved, PR professionals have to be on call to deal with that situation, at any time. A crisis, severity aside, is stressful and difficult to deal with, even with the most experienced publicist there is. Like any other profession, public relations has its perks and stresses. So the next time you hear someone say PR is all fun and games, educate them 🙂
MYTH: You work with celebrities!
REALITY: Only on occasion-This is a common misconception, especially when you work in Los Angeles Public Relations. Typically, celebrity collaboration is most common in entertainment public relations, which is extremely different from food and beverage PR for example. Entertainment covers celebrities, movies and TV shows, therefore explaining the need for stars. However, there is always a possibility of working with a celebrity in any public relations space, but never a guarantee.
MYTH: The “PR Spin” is real
REALITY: Not so much: This is likely the most common myth associated with public relations to ever exist. The “PR Spin” refers to public relations professionals ultimately over exaggerating about the product or brand they represent, which is far from true about publicists and the profession. As publicists, we take pride in our work, respect those we collaborate with and always act with honesty and integrity. Also, from a logistical standpoint, if you misrepresent the client, it can ruin your credibility, so why even take the chance? As someone who works in the industry, I can say we always strive to put our best foot forward.
Interested in learning more about the PR industry? Just ask your girls at the top-notch public relations agency, Konnect!