Is PR really that bad?By Lisa Goldsberry
August 5, 2014
Go beyond the stereotypes to learn how PR can benefit your company
When most people think of PR, two images typically come to mind: sleazy, manipulative flacks who will do anything – including lie – on behalf of their clients, or annoying little characters good for getting you out of a jam but not much else. These representations are aggravated by portrayals on television and in movies.
Once companies understand the benefits PR offers, including increased profitability and brand recognition, PR professionals look less like grotesque stereotypes and more like strategic partners who can help you achieve your goals. According to recent studies, more than 40 percent of companies report that their PR operations are expanding, in part due to awareness that the PR function is crucial to overall success.
Is the questionable reputation of PR holding you back from taking full advantage of its services? If so, you may be missing valuable opportunities for growth and improved customer engagement.
The problem with PR
In the PR profession, a majority of the work is done behind the scenes. As a matter of fact, if everyone is aware of your promotion and publicity efforts, you’re probably doing it wrong.
While PR professionals do an excellent job of obtaining positive results for their companies and clients, they don’t often spend a lot of time or do a good job promoting themselves. (Oh, the irony.) As a result, the negative images persist.
The magic of PR
When a magician performs a trick, we are awestruck and amazed. We’re happy to suspend our disbelief and applaud his enormous skill without giving any thought to the hours of work he spent perfecting the trick or how many times he got it wrong before becoming good enough to show it to us. The only time we scrutinize the inner workings of the trick is when it goes horribly wrong.
More often than not, the PR profession suffers the same fate. When PR works, it’s seamless and practically invisible. Everyone notices the positive news story, the confidence of your CEO or spokesperson when put in the hot seat and the shining image of your brand.
No one knows about the months of pitching and relationship-building with journalists just for one story, the hours of spokesperson training or the effort it takes to create and protect a successful brand.
Just don’t look behind the curtain.
The changes in PR
With the popularity of 24-hour news and social media platforms, the PR profession is changing. Like everything else, you change with the times or become extinct.
Today’s constantly connected, savvy consumers are not satisfied with flashy PR stunts or news without substance. They expect the companies where they do business to supply straight answers and real value to their lives. Additionally, they demand creative content and corporate social responsibility.
The right PR agency can use inspired techniques and the latest technology to help your company provide what your customers want, with the overall goal of making you look good and gaining their trust. At Axia, we do just that. Our professionals will work to give you measurable results you can count on, without the smoke and mirrors. Register now for our 60-Second Impact program to learn how we can benefit your company.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.
Topics: public relations
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