What public relations can achieve for a business can be a bit confusing, as trying to differentiate between marketing, advertising and digital marketing aren’t always clear. Here’s a quick guide to some things PR can and can’t do for you:
PR CAN: Earn your brand valuable media coverage to build visibility and trust among your consumers.
PR CAN’T: Promise you the cover of the February issue of GQ Magazine or the 8:24am spot on the Today Show on May 13. Can those things happen? Sure! Can a publicist promise that on the front end? No. That’s simply not how things work. A PR team will work with the media to develop story opportunities and target key media, but any promises on specific outlets, times, and placements on the front end are just a bill of goods.
PR CAN: Help you construct strategic, empathetic, and transparent messages during inevitable times of crisis and turmoil, to ideally earn brand affinity and loyalty.
PR CAN’T: Make everyone like you – as is life. It can’t shield you from criticism, (but it can help you withstand it!)
PR CAN: Deliver focused information with key points at the forefront, to lead journalists toward unique and newsworthy story angles.
PR CAN’T: Force journalists to write – or not write – anything. It is commonly called earned media for reason; you must work to achieve it. Media and their stories are independent, and while publicists may have a certain amount of influence depending on their relationship with the journalist, PR cannot dictate what is or is not included in a story.
PR CAN: Help you connect with the community by partnering on giveaways, local projects, or charitable engagements.
PR CAN’T: Get your company’s logo, website or social handles plastered front and center in editorial coverage or in-person. High-profile sponsorships almost always require a monetary investment – which is advertising, not PR.
PR CAN: Work in conjunction with your sales & marketing strategies to help drive revenue and deliver huge ROI. Earned media can add rocket fuel to any marketing campaign by reaching key audiences through trusted third-party stories.
PR CAN’T: Do it all. PR should be one aspect of a multi-faceted sales & marketing strategy including things like social media, direct-to-consumer communications, advertising strategy, and more.
Understanding what PR can do is important to setting goals and expectations for both you and your PR team, and most all, to positioning your company for success. And, by the way, setting you up for success is something PR can do!