09
Feb

THE ALTERNATIVE FACTS OF PR

Our Account Executive Susan joined the team in 2016 and came on board with her a certain image of Public Relations.

With alternative facts very much a hot topic in the media right now, she takes a look at those early impressions of PR and how her experiences of the last year have helped her decide what’s true and what might be fake news…over to you, Susan!

Lots of people have an idea of what they think the world of public relations is like. These assumptions can be formed from TV, films or even certain White House Press Secretaries. However, once you start working in the industry, it becomes very clear that many of these depictions are in fact myths.

Before jumping into the world of PR, I’ll admit that I too had preconceived ideas about what the communications industry would be like, and the past few months have taught me that some were more accurate than others.

Here are a few PR myths, debunked:

Samantha Jones’ PR is real PR

In Sex and the City, Kim Cattral’s character, publicist Samantha Jones, attends New York City’s most glamorous parties, skips the queue to enter the newest clubs and rubs shoulders with A List celebrities – all with a cocktail firmly in hand. Needless to say, this was a factor in me developing a pretty warped idea of the PR industry. Whilst working at Clearbox has given me the opportunity to be a part of fun and exciting projects and events for clients of all shapes and sizes, the work required to pull these off extends far beyond trying to balance a clipboard with a pink Cosmopolitan.

“There is no such thing as bad publicity”

Long before I began working in PR, I’d heard the phrase “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” many times. This is the theory that even if people are talking negatively about you it’s a good thing, because it means you’re still at the forefront of their minds.

In some cases, this is true. Take Kanye West for example. He seems to always be at the receiving end of bad press, and yet he thrives off the controversy. It seems as though the more negative coverage he gets, the more albums he sells. But Kanye is the exception to this rule.

Just ask Uber, who recently landed on the receiving end of a #DeleteUber Twitter campaign in which users deleted their personal accounts, spurred by claims that the company had broken a recent taxi drivers’ strike at JFK airport. People cancelled their Uber accounts in droves, and many downloaded their direct competitor “Lyft” instead. By the end of that weekend, Lyft surpassed Uber in app downloads for the first time ever.

“Print media is dead”

Whether or not print media is ‘dead’ is a question that has been buzzing around the communications and marketing industry since the rapid rise of digital and social media.

Whilst brands and businesses are upping their online presence, and investment in online content campaigns is increasing, print media still maintains its stance as a powerful and necessary component of many campaigns.

Firstly, not all consumers are reachable through web content and social media, therefore a well-rounded approach that combines both print and online strategies is most effective in increasing reach.

Secondly, printed pieces in publications such as speciality magazines can effectively reach niche audiences that may be more difficult to target digitally. Lastly, not everything can be seamlessly transferred from print to web. The content should rarely be the exact same, therefore incorporating both techniques allows a brand the opportunity to communicate more with their target audience.

These are my top three PR myths, debunked. What are yours?

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