Public relations is one of the most misunderstood aspects of business. Many people think that simply sending out a press release will get them major media coverage, but this is not always the case. In this blog post, we will dispel some common myths about public relations and tell you the truth about how to get media coverage for your business.
Myth #1: All you need to do is send out a press release and the media will cover your story. 🙄
Fact: While sending out a press release is a great way to get started, it’s not guarantee that you’ll get coverage. To increase your chances of being covered, follow up with the journalist or editor who you sent the release to. This may take several times – emailing, calling, DMing, Facetiming, emailing, calling, DMings…..they’re busy!!! They get hundreds of pitches a day. BUT…if they’re interested in your story, they’ll be more likely to write about it. You have to make sure it’s a fit for THEM and not be all about YOU!
Myth #2: You need to have a big budget to hire a public relations firm.
Fact: You don’t necessarily need a big budget to hire a PR firm. There are many small and mid-size firms that can help you get the media coverage you need without breaking the bank. Typically on the low end $1,000 per month to the high end $10,000 per month.
Myth #3: Public relations is all about getting your name in the news.
Fact: While media coverage is one of the goals of public relations, it’s not the only goal. PR is also about building relationships with key stakeholders, such as customers, employees, and investors. These relationships can help you build a strong reputation for your business, which can lead to more business opportunities down the road. If you just want a “one and done” then a PR campaign is not what you need. Campaigns develop over time and relationships happen when you show sincerity and consistency. Be known for something – and stick round. Don’t a “clout chaser.” Someone who is just looking for FAME.
Myth #4: All publicity is good publicity.
Fact: This is one of the most common myths about public relations. Just because you’re getting coverage doesn’t mean it’s all good. It’s important to monitor the coverage to make sure it’s positive and accurate. If it’s not, you can take steps to correct the situation. Also, if you don’t know how to leverage what you get – what good is it. Nada. A publicist can show you how to turn your media mentions into magic.
Myth #5: PR generates lots of sales.
Fact: While PR can generate awareness for your product or service, it’s not responsible for generating sales. That’s the job of marketing. However, PR can help support marketing efforts by creating a positive buzz around your product or service. The fact that your book made the news or you’re quoted in Business Insider – does not translate to sales UNLESS you have an entire marketing system set up: website, lead capture, SEO, clear offer a great customer service team to follow up with inquiries!
Myth #6: You cannot measure the effectiveness of a publicity campaign.
Fact: There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of a publicity campaign. You can track the number of media placements you receive, the tone of the coverage, and how much traffic your website receives after a story is published or TV segment that airs. You can also survey customers to see if they’re aware of your product or service and whether they have a positive impression of your company. One way to measure the dollar value is to get rate cards from the media outlets and compare what it would have cost to advertise the same amount of time or space.
Myth #7: It is easy to get exposure in top media outlets.
Fact: Getting exposure in top media outlets is not easy. It takes hard work, dedication, and often, a little bit of luck but mostly relationships. However, it is possible to get coverage in these outlets if you have a great story to tell and you’re persistent. Remember, if you study the media, you’ll know what they want and what they look for. So study them – and then pitch. Really study so you know what they like and what they tone is all about. If you’re a match, pitch. If not, keep it moving to one that does.
Myth #8: Paid media is better than earned media.
Fact: Paid media, such as advertising, can be a great way to generate awareness for your product or service. However, earned media, such as press coverage, is often more trusted by consumers. This is because earned media is seen as more objective and impartial than paid media. See the PESO model.
Myth #9: You need to be aggressive to get media attention
Fact: You don’t need to be aggressive to get media attention. In fact, being too aggressive can actually hurt your chances of getting covered. People hate people who are pain in the butt – don’t be a pest. Journalists and editors are looking for stories that are newsworthy, relevant, and interesting. If you have a great story to tell, the media will be interested. Just study the media and give them a good scoop.
As you can see, there are many myths about public relations. However, by understanding the truth about PR, you can use it to your advantage and get the media coverage you need for your business.
Do you have any questions about public relations? Leave a comment below and we’ll answer them for you!
If you’re thinking about hiring a publicist, or if you’re looking to do some PR yourself, keep these myths and truths in mind.
To learn more about how to get media coverage for your business, contact Pam Perry PR today. We can get the exposure you need to take your business to the next level. We start at $3,500 a month – but if that’s not in your budget – join our membership community and learn how we do what we do – and DIY.