“It’s so glamorous!” “Really, how much work can go into PR?” “Social media is most important — who needs PR?”
These are all common misconceptions about the highly demanding field of public relations. We at Fort Lauderdale PR firm Durée & Company, which has been serving local, national and international clients for nearly 20 years, know what it takes to be a successful public relations agency. Strategic thinking, behind-the scenes stamina, long and demanding hours, working hand-in-hand with clients, and oh yes, an incredible amount of dedication are all resounding qualities of a successful PR professional.
And while we do wear many hats, there are a few common falsehoods we have discovered that people think about the PR field:
- PR isn’t hard; anyone can do it.
Au contraire. Learning the basics of PR can be easy — but how one utilizes the skills that this business demands defines how she can help a client achieve success. PR requires a unique professional skill set, extrovert personality, and highly vigorous work ethic. Not so easy to come by.
- Working in PR is one giant party.
Unless a “giant party” is working tirelessly to strategize, develop important business and media relationships, and constantly come up with creative ways to promote clients, then this is just plain wrong. Those of us in PR may make many strides at events, lunch meetings and conferences, because that is where we are working to meet reporters, make connections and share our clients’ stories.
- PR has no business value.
Actually, PR creates business value. Every company feature, executive profile, product placement, special event — the list goes on and on — ultimately has the power to build credibility in the market, and increase an organization’s profile for the better. In the long run, this has the ability to boost a bottom line, time and time again.
- Social media triumphs all.
Guess what? Not everyone uses social media. While this is a wonderful tool for PR professionals to get the word across to diverse audiences, it won’t get across to all audiences. As PR professionals, we know how to use many tools — from targeted media placement, to special events, to orchestrated marketing tactics — to get the word out.
- PR results are guaranteed.
Never. Journalists are constantly pulled in many different directions. Breaking news can eliminate another story in an instant. It’s a PR professional’s job to diligently pitch, and open every door of opportunity, for a client’s story. Any PR person who guarantees results is wrong. Any PR person who “underpromises and overdelivers” — that’s a true professional.
- PR pros control what journalists publish — and when.
PR is not paid advertising. What PR pros pitch may very well not be what ends up in print or on the screen. It may not run when the reporter said it would. There are so many facets of the publishing process that are out of PR pros’ control. However, PR pros make every effort, in every way possible, to open smart doors of opportunity for clients.
- Results from a dedicated PR effort happen overnight.
Rome was not built in a day, and neither is effective PR. One press release or campaign is most likely not going to go viral. PR efforts take time, consistent work and nurturing to get successful results.
Do PR pros get dressed up sometimes and go to fancy-schmancy events? Yes. How many hours of work go behind knowing whom to talk to, what to say, and how to say it at that event? Endless.
There is strategy, dedication, knowledge, experience and honesty behind every move that a successful PR pro makes. Don’t be fooled by the occasional glitz and glamour.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. The firm serves the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas for local, national and international clients focusing on public relations for real estate, public relations for restaurants, public relations for law firms, public relations for charities, public relations for healthcare, and many more. Durée & Company services include Public Relations, Social Media, Marketing, Advertising, Special Events, and Radio Promotions and Outreach.