PR is not (just) taking calls from journalists and selling people products and ideas they don’t need. It’s so much more than you can see on the surface: Creative writing, editorial work, strategic planning, project and event management etc. When you’re talking about PR, you’re talking about the interface between a brand and the opinion leader. We’re working to create a dialogue between the consumer and a product or – in general – an idea.
But let’s take a quick tour to the six most wide-spread and common prejudices we have to face in our daily life as a young professional in a PR agency.
1. PR is only taking calls and writing emails
Oh well, that’s a nice one. PR is much more than that. It’s the communication with opinion leaders and opinion makers, PR is how to react when dealing with social media and it’s a close interaction with journalists, blogger, consumers and companies.
2. PR is just advertisement
No. PR is much more than that. In contrast to advertising the responsibility of PR is to communicate well founded information to relevant journalists or directly to key influencers. We develop stories which can be used in an editorial context and point out topics, which are relevant for the key media channels. If we do this the right way, we are able to create credibility and confidence, because the public trusts and accepts editorial messages much more than bold advertisement. With the help of constant contact management and information PR pushes a positive image of your clients company in the long term and multiplies the degree of fame and (in many cases the most important) lays the foundations to preserve this image as crisis-proof.
3. PR only wants to sell people unnecessary products
That‘s not true. PR is a reliable source to deliver information about a product. The goal of PR is to give recommendation, to spread word of mouth and to revalue the credibility of a company.
4. PR is shallow and superficial
PR generates contents, performs storytelling and creates emotional habitats. On the long run PR results in identification with a product or a brand and picks up consumers and opinion makers in their decision making process.
5. PR ideas are inviolable
That’s not right. We strategically derive PR ideas from the heart of a brand. These ideas are put through its paces and they are not an irrevocable decision without connection to the brand or the company.
6. PR is a privilege for rich companies
No. Even with limited (financial) resources we can create a smashing breakthrough by using the power of our connections to relevant journalists or key influencers like blogger. It doesn’t matter how small your company is – we create your ‘perfect fit’ idea to push your business on a long term.
So, you see – there’s a big difference between PR and advertising and we are at home in many fields: Healthcare, Corporate Communications, Financial, Food/Beverage/Nutrition and many many more.
Until now, we took the first step on a multifunctional ladder. We – as young professionals – are full of pleasure to be innovative and explore new paths beyond the borders. At Ketchum Pleon we learn to break through. Personally and in our professional life.
This guest post was written by Anika Kunz, Trainee International Marketing, Ketchum Pleon Berlin/Germany, and Susanne Grzeschik, Trainee Consumer PR, Ketchum Pleon Düsseldorf/Germany.