Ten foolish things people say about PR. 

Posted on April 1, 2024 by Categories: PR Tags: , ,

As it’s April Fool’s Day, I thought this might be quite relevant…

I get all sorts of unrealistic expectations from people when it comes to PR, that are, in my mind completely foolish. I do try to address these in my public talks or in my conversations with anyone who wants to know about PR. 

1 What’s my ROI?  

PR is not sales!  Marketing and sales are two very different things. It’s very hard to measure the impact of individual PR (or any marketing) strategies to see how many sales have come from them. If you are being visible and getting your company out there, you can’t work out exactly where some work has come from – not every time. The ROI comes over time – at least a year if you’ve never done it before or if you’ve given it up and have to start again. 

2 A PR company can make you famous. 

It depends how and where you want to be ‘famous’. It’s down to whole range of moving parts. It certainly isn’t going to be something happens overnight.  Just look at most of the companies and celebrities that we see, they have been working for years outside of the ‘spotlight’ before making it big. It’s about hard work, and being consistent about it.

3 My PR company can get me coverage in national magazines and papers. 

They may be able to work with you over time, where you come to a point of being a respected expert in your field, but it can take months if not years.  Expecting to start a business and suddenly appear in a national newspaper, or on TV is rare. You need to plan strategically, build your credibility, and provide opportunities where you are seen and known in the local community first. 

4 Good PR will get me out there soon. 

There is no expectation that you will automatically get your story in the press or local media unless you are paying for space. The story has to be a strong one; has to be an appropriate story, along with the right experience or expertise to the time it’s shared. A good PR person can’t promise to get someone national coverage. But working with an experienced PR person can help you get your name, or your business name noticed, by working with them over time. They will raise your visibility.

5 I want to be on a specific TV show, or in a specific magazine

That’s not going to happen if your skills or expertise don’t match the show or the magazine’s house style, demographic and subject matter – they’re just not compatible. However much they love that show, or magazine, people need to be realistic. 

6 PR isn’t important in our business. 

If you think PR is a waste of money, that it’s too expensive, then how do you expect to find customers, or more importantly, how do they find you? You need to invest in your business. You need to be seen consistently, building your brand in a positive way and that’s what a PR person helps with. Your only decision is which PR tools to use – media outreach, which is one, may not be write for you. However PR is something you have to do. 

7 I’ve written a book and I expect to get coverage in the press. 

Are you already really famous – an A lister? If so, then yes you might get national coverage. For everyone else you won’t, because your book isn’t that important. Why should it stand out from the other 11,000 books published each day? If you have written something that is relevant to the local community, or it’s an incredible story about a local person, then you may get some local coverage, but otherwise it’s unlikely. You can though, share it yourself, on your social media; if it’s a business book, use it as a business asset. Your book also backs up your expertise later when the national press are writing stories which are relevant. 

8 I expect to get PR for my new product! 

PR isn’t about products or services – it’s about the story behind those things. It’s about your why?  For this, you’d be better to invest in advertorial or advertising space. People buy from people. Yes, it’s important to showcase expertise, however it should be a person (or group of people first) and your product or service second. 

9 I can use pictures taken on my mobile phone for my PR 

Journalists will not use photos taken on your phone except in very very narrow circumstances. They will only use professional photos, with high resolution, in colour, and shot in landscape mode. The more good image assets you have that are your own – not stock photos, or badly taken photos, the easier it is to get media coverage. 

10 PR people can get our stories out there whenever we want.

PR people are not magicians, and we can’t make miracles! We tell stories. However, your stories can only be shared at the right time, and when it comes to media, you have to fit with their agenda, not your’s.

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