Whether your perception of public relations comes from Sex in the City’s Samantha Jones, who’s career seems to be one of party-going and rubbing elbows with the well-to-do or from the image of the so-called “spin doctor” who weaves falsehoods into entertainment, most of us assume that we know what public relations professionals do. They lie, cheat and manipulate. Myths of PR: All Publicity is Good Publicity and Other Popular Misconceptions is here to set the record straight and help anyone interested in the PR industry understand how it really works.
What is Myths of PR About?
Myths of PR explores 18 of the most common myths public relations professionals face while doing the job. These myths range from confusion about the purpose of PR to the belief that public relations is some kind of “silver bullet” that the rich and powerful use to cover up their mistakes. While exploring these myths, author Rich Leigh brings readers back to what he argues is the central purpose of public relations, to help individuals and businesses achieve their communication goals.
This simple purpose of helping individuals and businesses achieve their communication goals can be pursued in a number of ways which Leigh explores throughout the book. Public relations professionals use events, press releases (which aren’t dead), press coverage, social media marketing, advertising, blogger relations, newsletters, stunts and crisis management. Unlike popular perception, it isn’t about “spinning” lies into truth (although, as in any industry, this can happen) or helping a business or individual gain instant fame with a single interview.
Public relations, as Leigh explains it, is a lot of work.
Public relations professionals have to be proactive (building a positive public image) and reactive (addressing threats and risks to a personal image) for their clients in an always-connected world. It’s also long-term work. PR professionals, no matter how good they are, can’t guarantee fame after a”viral” video or product launch.
In providing this insight into public relations, Leigh hopes to dispel the myths surrounding public relations and increase understanding of how PR can (and can’t) work for a business. This understanding will help PR professionals and businesses achieve their common goal of communicating a message in a busy world.
Leigh is an award-winning PR professional who carved his own path through public relations, working through the ranks as a PR account director. Leigh launched his own PR agency, Radioactive PR, at 27 and is the founder of Bloggabase.com and PRexamples.com.
What Was Best About Myths of PR?
Myths of PR offers a realistic and unvarnished view of the present reality of the PR industry as well as where the industry is going. This can be very helpful for a business or individual that has an interest in the PR industry but has some basic questions or concerns. Myths of PR gives information on what PR pros do, how much they charge, and what kind of general results to expect.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Myths of PR is primarily focused on clearing the air about the PR industry. The focus is on the stereotypes themselves. Leigh explores why he believes they exist and how these stereotypes impact the reading audience (which includes business owners, aspiring PR professionals, etc.). The book isn’t a prescription for PR success, although several tips and recommendations are given. In other words, readers of the book won’t get all of their PR issues resolved within these pages, but they will gain insight into how they can get those PR issues addressed.
Why Read Myths of PR?
Many business professionals, along with the public, have a love-hate relationship with the PR industry, although they haven’t explored why. Myths of PR starts the conversation and helps readers understand what PR is, what PR isn’t and where PR is going. If you are a business owner or aspiring PR professional, this book offers detailed insight from a personal perspective that should cause you to revisit your beliefs about the PR industry now and in the future.