Myths and Preconceptions of Public Relations


There are several myths and preconceptions when it comes to the field of Public Relations mainly due to lack of knowledge. As a Public Relations major myself I fell prey to many of these myths, and still learning more daily. When people would ask me what PR was I would say. “Its just like marketing just more writing and focuses on keeping a company’s image in tact.”  A lot of people have this misconception that marketing, journalism, and public relations are all the saw they work together but have very different roles. As stated in the text Think Public Relations, “Public Relations is concerned with building relationships and generating goodwill for the organization;marketing is concerned with customers and selling products and services”. (Wilcox,Cameron, Reber, Shin, 2011, p.15)  Also many believe that PR is the same as advertising. Advertising uses more mass media  as a mode of communication whereas PR uses various forms of communication from flyers to events.

Also because the field requires many skills that most individuals possess such as: good listeners, communicators, problem solvers, business literacy, good writers, organization and more many feel that anyone can get into this field. According to this website PR has two important skills selling and communicating especially persuasive communicating. The author states to conduct a skill inventory and see if they can truly be successful in PR.  This makes a lot of sense because there is a common misconception that all one needs is the ability to talk their way out of situations and make someone look good even though this is partly important as well but only a piece of the whole PR pie.

Lastly, there is this belief that once you get “good” publicity in PR a company or person is set for life in actuality this is not true. As stated in this website they compared this publicity as a one hit wonder in music.  As quickly as the song made it to the top it can skyrocket to the bottom. Instead of thinking that once you get great publicity one is set the site advises steady progress will promote steady success. These are just a few myths that I as a student believed and those of many others when the truth is the field of PR is so complex and vast, and continually growing and transforming.

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