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Top Misconceptions About The PR Field

Telling someone outside of this industry that you work in public relations will probably result in a “huh, what is that?” or “OMG do you work with celebs and walk lots of red carpets!” or “You’re a party planner right? Can you get us tickets to a movie premier or the Oscars?”

Answering this question can be hard because of how much a public relations professional really does!

We are writers, we pitch clients, we work in digital marketing and social media, we represent and work with influencers, we create brand content and copy, we handle Crisis PR AKA getting that high profile client who had a “moment” and decided to scream at the hostess at a restaurant and EVERYONE got it on video?

We work on social media accounts, we plan incredible events from brand launch parties to super creative activations.

While we love to wear many hats, we’re often misunderstood!

So…….Let’s talk about what we are NOT…

We are NOT magicians or God! We are not rainbow unicorns, we are not married to the Editor in Chief of a major newspaper although we may have coffee with them or they may be on our Holiday list. Let’s be clear though….we cannot make miracles happen - at least not the walking over water kind.

YOU might believe you belong on Oprah’s Favorite things list and we might even agree - but neither of these two things guarantee you getting on that list! We cannot get your product on a show where they only accept products who P2P - meaning you PAY to be on their show and even then they won’t confirm a placement. We write brilliant pitches, we work with certain editors or journalists which gets you OUT of the list of 300,000 inbox emails they receive each day* - but that doesn't guarantee placement. If they don't like the product or idea or maybe it’s just wrong timing - you’re out of luck. We CAN create segment ideas around your product or service so a producer might be more likely to “bite”. Rather than “here’s a great sunscreen”... our pitch might be here’s 5 products for a “Best Beauty Products everyone should have in their Summer Beach Bag” segment and include 4 brands we DON’T represent along with one we do!

  1. Publicists can use their best strategies and connections and be incredibly creative in pitching BUT we can’t force an editor to cover your brand. There are NO guarantees in PR!

Ok, this one is important. If we already haven’t stressed this one enough, your publicist CANNOT replace your sales team! This is one of the biggest misconceptions among businesses looking to hire a public relations firm. When your publicist secures a placement for your brand, this doesn’t guarantee overnight sales. Getting your brand visibility and placement IS our job, driving your sales isn’t!

  1. Do your brand a favor and hire a killer sales team that can work with your publicist or even easier USE the placements we secure for you and blast them all over your social media accounts! Show the world that magazines, tv and/or digital media loves your brand enough to cover it and remember “People don’t Buy what People don’t Know!” Getting your brand or service visibility is OUR JOB DONE! Making people buy your product is NOT.

“It’d be cheaper for us to do our own PR, how hard can it be?” We’ve covered why it’s not so easy to DIY the PR for your business.

There's a lot more to it than throwing together a press release (which most outlets don’t even read anymore) , posting and tagging media on your social media page and posting pictures of your product or sending some unsolicited email or samples to a google address for the TODAY Show! Effective public relations includes consistency, strategy, building relationships, and knowing your industry, just to keep it short. Buying some outdated media list and emailing the beauty editor of Good Housekeeping is not going to get you far.

  1. Hire a professional who does this everyday AND who has incredible media relationships is the best way to get yourself or brand exposure.

Separate Yourself from your Business. Look, we get it - your brand is your baby. A business you might have started on your entire savings account, been working on for years, held two and three jobs to pay for product or development, we get it all. Because at media maison, our CEO is an entrepreneur first - publicist second. So we get the money aspect. We know how hard it is to write “THAT PR check each month” and we take the responsibility seriously. Which is why when we suggest a website update or when we make a product suggestion or when we say “Yes we know you have a media wish list but we think adding this publication to it is important and here is why!” There is a method to our madness and thinking.

  1. Be OPEN to suggestions and DO NOT take our comments so personally. It’s our job that the world sees the BEST of you. So when we suggest a website re-do because it's the first thing a media outlet sees and we want it to look as close to perfect as possible. When we suggest a demographic publication outside the demo you THINK is your demo - we have a reason why! When we offer up media training tips - it is not because we think you suck but because we think you can sound BETTER! When we say a Press Release is not necessary and only helps your SEO and save the $500 release fee - trust us! When we say let’s chat about expectations - follow our lead. We have been doing this for a combined 80+ years so we do know what we are talking about and we really do want to do the best job for you so YOU refer clients to us based on your experience.

We want to know what you think PR is? What do you expect from your PR firm? How do you think the end of a successful campaign should look?

What’s something that you can’t STAND people think about public relations? And don’t compare us to “bottom feeder lawyers” who make promises they don’t keep.…. Not us - we don’t need an extra house in the Hamptons badly enough to BS a client we know full well is gonna be a BITCH to pitch and/or place anywhere!

Come with reasonable expectations, be reliable in your responses, send out sample requests on time and we will work day and night for you to get that brand out there so it becomes a household name!

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