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Why PR is so Misunderstood

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You Might the Wrong Idea About PR

 Not all PR is created equal. Shrewd business owners are learning what constitutes “Good PR,” and how it can help them.

By Karla Jo Helms

PR is often misunderstood by the masses and, as a result, many people are confused by what PR can do and what it cannot do.  From my own market research,

A high percentage of people see PR as a bit of a crapshoot and are not sure that PR will create the results they are looking for.

Other people think PR is very passive and is simply about writing a press release about something that has happened.

Another percentage of people believe there is uncertainty in the area, but at the same token, they know they must do it and pay money for it.

These are three of the biggest misunderstanding about PR and the reason they are misunderstood is because the way PR is typically done today is done incorrectly.

Good PR vs. Bad PR

 It is important to understand the difference between good PR and bad PR.

Exceptional PR involves a plan or strategy for reaching critical mass and a PR professional who is thinking light years ahead of the events that are currently happening in the present.

First-class PR involves having the foundation built before you place the structure on top.  It is more about building confidence by achieving critical mass and establishing your credibility than it is about selling a product or service.

Bad R is, as described above, is where the perceptions are that is simply about writing one or two press releases and expecting the masses to come pouring in.

Defective PR is also about the lack of a plan and a vision of what the end result should look like.  If you choose a PR company that has this mindset you will be among the high percentage of people that view PR as a gamble that does not produce the results you expect.  This is also how PR gets commonly misunderstood by the masses.

Okay, So Why Use Exemplary PR?

If you choose a commendable PR company they will focus on obtaining third-party credibility by publicizing what your business is doing to create good will.  They will concentrate on notable accomplishments such as prestigious awards which have been granted to your company, charitable causes you have contributed to, or perhaps your company has a green initiative that is worth media attention.

Part of excellent PR is establishing reputation control by highlighting acts of goodwill and other aspects that build respect and consumer confidence. This provides the foundation on which you can build successful marketing for your product or service.

People are actually interested in how a business gives back and what other community work they may doing that contributes to company’s integrity.  Once you have built this image through valuable PR, only then can you think about a successful return on investment for your product or service.

A first-rate PR company will assess your needs and then devise a strategy that showcases your acts of goodwill.  They will also be consistently looking for a better way to tell a story about you and your business via the press and provide you with fresh ideas on how you can continually obtain favorable PR.  If the campaign is personalized to your needs and your target audience, you will not be taking a shot in the dark when it comes to shelling out money for a noteworthy PR campaign.

Distinguished PR is active. This means the PR professional is constantly moving you forward with a productive PR strategy instead of simply saying here is the business, here is the client, this is what they have, and this what they sell.  The latter is a classic example of a substandard PR strategy if you can even call it that because it has no purpose.  Besides, any PR person can write a press release that describes all of those things, but can they delve a little deeper into your goals and objectives and show how it all relates and make it newsworthy? Probably not, because they themselves do not understand what superior PR is all about.

If you want to make a sound investment in PR, choose a PR company or professional that is always thinking ahead.  Once they execute a step of your PR strategy they are already moving on to the next step, event or news piece to continue to help build up your reputation, and consequently your business.  There is no better investment than this because once your clients trust you they will forever pay attention to any product or service you are marketing.

Fabulous PR is all about keeping you known and making people more interested and more comfortable in doing business with you.


Advice Disclaimer. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional public relations or legal advice. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay seeking professional PR or legal advice because of something you have read here. Contact an attorney to obtain advice on any particular legal issue or problem. Use of this Web site or any of its e-mail links do not create an agency-client relationship between JoTo PR and the user.