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Busting PR myths for Small Businesses

Author: Muskan Manwani Featured online: Inside Small Business

The media industry has been wrapped in misconceptions and assumptions for a long time, and how far do misconceptions go? I say enough for us to break them now and then. PR, in particular, holds myths that not just creates a delusion but also limits its influence. But what are these myths? I thought you’d never ask!

Over the years, many myths have been refuted, here are a few myths that question conventional PR and progressive add-ons.

1. PR is only crisis management

Statistics show that it takes two hours to confirm a true rumour but over 14 hours to debunk false onesⁱ. For those who say PR is crisis management, I say maybe. Still, for those who say it is only crisis management, how about having your industry presence strong enough not to be shaken by any minor crises?

PR helps businesses build their brand and profile as thought leaders and make a strong presence. It allows brands to position themselves in the market where they have “a say” in the industry enough to create a difference.

2. PR is just documentation

With the industry changing continuously, keeping records is essential. Documentation makes the tracking easier and increases the work’s precision, adding on to the output of work each time we analyse the data to calculate progress.

But wait, with all the analytics and tracking, PR cannot be assumed to be mere head-scratching of numbers. With digital stepping in, the creative space has only expanded in the industry. Do you know that 88 per cent of PR specialists say that digital storytelling is the future²? With the inclusion of social media, influencer engagement and browsers, the increased reach has strengthened the influence of digital storytelling.

3. PR is business development

Business developments can be an anticipated consequence of PR. However, it establishes a brand’s reputation that can develop leads and subsequently convert leads into sales.

The target of PR is to generate awareness about the business, build brand visibility and create a strong share of voice in the market, which goes beyond the exchange of money in sales.

4. PR is just money dumped

When we call something a waste of money, we usually see no immediate return. PR is an organic process, sure it wouldn’t give immediate results and ROI, but building engagement with the target market, positioning your business as a thought leader, and having a solid market share of voice in this generation is essential.

Millennials are 247 per cent more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites (Hubspot). They especially want to read third-party sources to gain information on a topic or trend, and if they fall in the target market, PR is a must.³

5. PR Is just for big companies

With the digital age stepping in, trusting any company without an established brand name requires a strong market presence. According to research, 93 per cent of B2B buying processes begin with an online search, and SEO leads have a 14.6 per cent close rate⁴. PR is a viable, achievable, and accessible option for small and ambitious companies as it is for big corporations to keep their relevance intact.

6. PR is all glamour

As children, we were obsessed with the Disney fairytales, such as Cinderella. PR is the mice and birds that help your Cinderella slay the industry. Sure, we have to mingle and expand our horizons to build trust and maintain transparency. However, it is the background labour work that pays off.

As rightly said in a panel discussion at Elle Communications, “Public relations today is a mix of everything from marketing strategy, messaging, community building, influencer outreach, PR pitching, product seeding, and working through sustainability and social justice initiatives. In a nutshell, PR professionals wear a lot of hats these days.”

As the industry evolves, it gives birth to new ideas and few conceptions. The inclusion of recent trends and technologies has made PR easier and unique in its way. I say welcome to all the new trends and the ever-evolving technology, and to all the myths, I say,” you’re busted!”

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