Telum Vox Pop: What are some PR myths you wish to debunk?

Telum Vox Pop: What are some PR myths you wish to debunk?

Telum has asked agency leaders what are some of the PR myths they wish to debunk.

Shanthi Jeuland, Managing Director, COCO Public Relations
While those in the media industry have an understanding of what Public Relations is, I have had to constantly tackle misconceptions from those outside of it in order to gain client trust in what we do as an agency. 

The most common myth is how many think PR is synonymous with advertising. Confusing these terms may lead to unrealistic expectations with respect to quick turnover, but what is often overlooked is how PR is an integral tool to build credibility for a brand on a long-term basis, leading to increased buzz and eventually leading to a loyal customer base. PR is also more than just distributing press releases. From shaping a powerful brand story to identifying the right avenues to promote the brand, PR is all about augmenting an effective communication strategy that creates a positive brand image. 

Another common myth is that PR does not generate Return on Investment (ROI), even though online analytical metrics are effective tools with the shift of PR into the digital space. That being said, the most important ROI for me and my agency has always been the reputation we have managed to build for our clients amid the public and the good relationships we have fostered over time.

Julia Taslim, Director of Operations, Commas PR
"PR is just about sending out press releases and setting up press conferences", when the truth is they are just the tip of the iceberg. Today, public relations is far more encompassing than that. It is really about getting the right content to the right target audience via the right channel, whether they are bylined articles, blogs, newsletters, content for websites and social media, and other forms of communications via a PR event or influencer content. The other aspect that is as important is the process of pitching the stories to the media to generate earned coverage. 

"PR is equal to sales", it is not. People think that PR will get them or their products famous overnight, and it will give immediate results that will translate in sales. The truth is PR takes time and the goal is really to build brand awareness and good brand associations. Whilst PR can increase interest in your brand or product, it will only help up to the point of consideration instead of conversion. For this reason, more PR practitioners are working hand-in-hand with digital agencies to build more comprehensive 360 campaigns to close the sales loop. 

Andy Muhammad Saladin, Co-Founder and CEO, SSS Communications
Believe it or not, I have met several C-level executives from big companies and startups who think their company only needs PR for crisis, and who assume PR is the same as marketing. Some of them even think that PR is only to engage with the media. I happened to experience it myself years ago, when PR was only for event documentation, press releases and media monitoring. The fact is PR is way more than that - it has so many strategies to be used depending on the objective. Especially in the digital era, PR has evolved into digital PR.

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