Working With a PR Agency

PR Firm Myths, Misperceptions and Mistakes

A PR firm can make your job easier, but they can't solve all your company's problems. A lot of business owners hire PR firms for all the wrong reasons. Why? Because most of them are unaware of the myths, misperceptions, and mistakes that surround PR firms.

You're desperate to generate quality PR for your business.

In fact, you're at the point where you're ready to try just about anything, even if it means shelling out big bucks for the services of a leading PR firm.

PR firms can improve the quality of your public relations strategy. But a PR firm isn't a miracle drug. It's important to understand the limitations of what a PR firm can and can't do before you sign a contract with an expensive firm.

Some PR firms actually perpetuate misperceptions about their abilities to attract clients. So to get the most value for your money, you're going to have to watch your own back and be aware of these common myths and misperceptions:

  • PR firms do all the work. If you're hiring a PR firm so that you won't have to spend time dealing with PR related activities, forget it. One of the reasons for hiring a PR firm is to take your PR efforts up a notch, and that means you'll probably be spending more time working on PR-related activities than you did when you were doing PR on your own.
  • A PR firm can make your company famous. Don't hire a PR firm with the expectation that they will deliver high-profile media exposure. It's impossible for any PR firm to guarantee top-tier PR placements. In many cases, the most effective PR placements appear in media outlets that may not be on the general public's radar (e.g. analyst blogs, trade magazines, social media sites).
  • All PR firms are the same. PR is not a commodity and all PR firms are definitely not the same. You should be looking for a PR firm that has experience in your industry and specializes in providing the kind of PR placements you want for your business. Additionally, you get what you pay for when it comes to PR. The cheapest PR firms are often the most inexperienced and ineffective ones.
  • PR firms are willing to work on commission. For some reason, many business leaders think a PR firm should be willing to work on commission - a belief that payment should be based on the number and quality of PR placements. But that's not how PR works. Respectable PR firms don't work on commission for the simple fact that placements are dependent on a variety of factors, many of which are out of their control.
  • PR firms deliver immediate results. If a PR firm promises to deliver instant results for your company, turn around and walk away. PR is not the same as advertising, and it doesn't deliver immediate results. However, when a PR firm works with you to develop a comprehensive PR strategy, the results tend to be longer lasting.

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