Harvey and Hugo

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Business Central, 2 Union Square Darlington,
Phone: 01325 486 666
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PR isn’t evil! Five common misconceptions about Public Relations


When most people think about what it means to work in public relations, they immediately think of a Patsy Stone-from-Absolutely-Fabulous type of individual.

However, for most of us PR professionals, the 24-hour party lifestyle and evil, cutting personality is not a reality (although, we have met a few Patsys in our time!).

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations defines PR as “the discipline which looks after reputation with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”

Despite the various definitions for PR which you may come across, there are always going to be misconceptions surrounding the industry. So for the sake of all of public relations professionals out there, we’ve decided to debunk the top five most common PR misconceptions and finally put an end to those rumours.

1. Public relations is all about “spinning”

“Spinning” is providing a biased interpretation of a story to persuade public option, and is essentially lying for profit. A pretty evil misconception!

In reality, as a trusted public relations Newcastle agency, we share accurate information about our clients and their fantastic achievements. By doing so, we deliver strategic, constructed positive messages for the use of journalists. This cannot in any way be considered “spinning,” as our methods develop our clients’ businesses through entirely honest communications that speak for themselves.

2. Public relations and advertising are the same thing

For many, public relations and advertising have exactly the same purpose. However, while they can be used together to enhance a client’s brand, this is definitely not the case. The main difference can be found within our final goals. Advertising aims to sell a product or service, while in comparison we use PR to make a brand desirable to its target market, by building relationships with key audiences.

3. We spend all of our time at parties and networking events

While we all love a good party and networking event (and luckily Newcastle has many of these to attend for us public relations individuals), even when it looks like we’re just having a good time, we’re still working, building on and maintaining relationships with current and prospective clients. Not to mention keeping on top of live social media, all while ensuring our clients are having fun and being looked after.
When we’re not attending events (which isn’t as often as it’s thought) we’re working hard on our clients’ press releases and social media in our offices.

4. PR professionals are all talk no action

Though it obviously helps to be a great communicator when dealing with client relations, being a “people person” is only a small percent of the job description. You also have to be a strategic thinker and an extremely hard worker. While PR personnel are often clichéd as being all-talk no action, we’re proud to say we’re all about the action.

But don’t just take our word for it – you can see we’re not just ‘all talk’ in the fantastic range of print and online coverage of our releases, our client’s outstanding social media accounts and our expertly written blog posts.

5. PR controls the press

As everyone working in public relations knows, you simply can’t control the press.

Our job is not to control the press for our clients’ benefit, it is to be up to date with current events and recognise the best opportunities to share our clients’ news. As a public relations Newcastle agency, we do this best by creating and maintaining close working relationships with journalists. Whilst many cliché journalists as ‘the enemy’, by having a go-to journalist at a publication and being on friendly terms with them we’re successful in getting our client’s stories published, and considered much more fun to work with than the pushy and annoying stereotype!

We hope this blog has helped to clear up the misconceptions you may have had about Public Relations and would love to hear from you if you have come across other misconceptions that have made you think PR professionals are evil? Comment below or tweet us at @Harveyandhugo!

Related links:

So what do we actually do? http://harveyandhugo.com/so-what-do-we-actually-do/

When is PR right for your business? http://harveyandhugo.com/when-is-pr-right-for-your-business/

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