Like several industries in our society, public relations professionals are a highly stereotyped group. Remember Samantha Jones from Sex in the City? Every day, the masses are bombarded with numerous forms of public relations varying from television to social media.
It is a growing industry that is constantly evolving. It is a tough industry to define. With that being said, there are several misconceptions and myths that need to be addressed.
All press is good press.
Fiction. Ah, the age-old adage of public relations. This is easily the biggest misconception in the world of public relations. The industry has transformed into a sophisticated industry that takes the generating of press very seriously. Negative press only produces more issues for the average PR professional.
Public Relations cannot be measured so therefore it's a worthless industry.
Fiction. Trying to quantify a budget for the public relations industry is like trying to count the stars. The industry is so unpredictable that you do not know what is going to happen.
You never know what you'll be doing for the day.
Fact. This is the really cool part of the job. You do not work a normal 9 to 5 day like the rest of the world.
Propaganda and PR are the same thing.
Fiction. The world of public relations runs on earned media. The goal is to inform with press releases and fact sheets rather than persuade.
All PR professionals are Type-A nutcases.
Fiction. The public relations arena is available to all sorts of crazily sane people. You have the "Energizer Bunny" as a coworker then the introverted strategic planner in the corner. There's a place for any personality in the field.
Most PR professionals love what they do and cannot imagine working in any other field.
Fact. Corny, but true. It is a field with rewarding benefits and truly embodies the "hard word pays off" mentality.
So, be the Samantha Jones of your world or if you're a man, create the new stereotype for your gender. Anyone can be in the industry if they have the dedication and passion for it. Embrace the culture of PR and break down the myths created by the media to create your own.
It is a constantly changing industry and it's our job as PR professionals to attempt to define it the way we want it to be.
Now finally, for those of you PR professionals who understand the game of public relations, please get a good laugh out of my cyber friend's post of the expectations and realities of working in the 'biz...spot on Lara!
Stay on your toes for next week's post.