10 PR lies no client should believe

These common sales pitches are rarely true, and some of them show a fundamental misunderstanding of the goals of public relations.

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“PR is free advertising.” Earned and paid media are typically not comparable, and they certainly aren’t interchangeable. Ideally, they work in concert. PR can almost never achieve the frequency of paid media, and of course we trade the message control typical of paid advertising for credibility and depth of story.

“The more press releases, the more publicity.” This myth is dying a slow death, as clients and agencies alike are adapting press release strategies and usage to the evolving news environment, Google algorithms, and sensible communications strategies.

“That’s an A1 story.” Any agency professional who promises a front-page story, or any type of media “placement,” in such a predictable way is very likely to be overselling.

“The more keywords, the better.” This appeared on the SEO list as well. It’s not true for SEO, and it certainly doesn’t apply in PR.

“We have a secret sauce that no one can duplicate.” We agency folk work very hard to differentiate our businesses. We can achieve that by dint of talent, smart strategy, and clever use of tools, but no one has a magic bullet.

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