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Debunking the Myths of PR

When you’re involved in the business of PR you often, unfortunately, hear – first-hand – people’s misguided perceptions of what PR is all about.

Sadly, those who have nothing particularly nice to say about PR – or about those who make a living providing PR services – have most probably had a very bad experience in the past, something they are finding difficulty getting over.  The ensuing cynicism can be strong and contagious, not to mention unmerited, and we like to do what we can to stem this without adding to the frustration felt by the individual in question.

In this week’s blog post we thought it might be interesting and potentially useful to address some of the points we’ve heard being raised by those who seem to be suspicious of our craft (that’s PR craft by the way, not witchcraft – honest!)

  1. Any Press is good Press

As long as we get to see our name in print it doesn’t really matter how the story goes, right?  Wrong.  Very wrong.  Negative press can cause long and very lasting damage and is something from which many businesses never recover.  Even good stories, badly written can leave the audience with more questions than answers and give the impression that you simply don’t care enough to communicate clearly.  If you are difficult to understand, you may be difficult to work with…

Even if written by someone else, poor content generally results from lack of direction and we would always insist upon driving the narrative rather than taking any chances.

  1. Publicity is free, isn’t it?

It is possible to achieve publicity without having employed the services of a PR professional but, aside from referring you to point 1 above regarding not all publicity being the kind we’d like to attract, we’d also suggest that we don’t apply a DIY attitude to other things in our lives.  For example, we may all drive cars but that does not make us qualified mechanics.  For something as important as our reputation we might want to take advice from someone who knows what they are doing…

  1. PR firms are all very expensive

Some are, most aren’t.  As with so many other walks in life, we urge our clients to seek value for money.  A PR specialist with a good track record may have a higher day rate than one with little in the way of success but a combination of affordability and recommendation (and perhaps even specialism) can help you find the company who is right for you.  Let’s face it, there are plenty of PR agencies to choose from so no-one has a monopoly on this particular market.

  1. PR is just about Press Releases

The world is changing and the press release as we once recognised it is no longer the main PR tool it once was.  Whilst we still use the press release where relevant, there is no point in sending these out ad-nauseum and hoping that they ‘hit the spot’. A well-written, up to date press release is useful to have in the PR armoury but it will not make significant waves on its own.

  1. Once you’ve had a PR success you can stop

By all means you can stop, but so too will the success.  We’re all familiar with the term ‘one hit wonder’ when it comes to music performers, well the same goes for businesses.  Just because you hit the target with a particular piece of press it doesn’t mean to say it will have a lasting effect.  PR involves planning a sustained campaign to keep you front of mind long term as well as in the shorter term.  We always welcome a bit of luck when it comes to a story ‘sticking’ but we know we have to keep that momentum going for it to have any meaningful impact

  1. PR success can’t be measured so isn’t it a con?

Those who’ve experienced PR success are very much aware that they have.  The results, whilst perhaps not measured by standard means, are tangible and real.  The question of trust comes back to choice of PR specialist.  The more reputable service providers will be keeping a very close eye on campaigns and outcomes and, as well as being able to illustrate what’s working.  They will constantly monitor and tweak any elements which don’t quite seem to be as effective as they could be and discuss this openly with their client.  Most successful businesses employ and trust their PR experts – it’s no coincidence that these kind of businesses look after their budgets too and don’t spend money on things that don’t bring valuable benefits.

  1. PR is simply all about champagne receptions and glamorous events

For those readers who haven’t met Rach and the RDZ team, we can assure you it’s not.  Schmoozing does not come high (let’s face it, it doesn’t even feature) in our job description.  Yes, we build relationships, show our worth and showcase our clients but that’s most probably going to happen in an office than at a champagne gala.  In fact more often that not it’s on a working shop floor which (absolutely no offence to our clients) is by no means glamorous.

We hope that we’ve managed to debunk a few of the myths which we come across as we go about our work (and yes, it IS work).  Of course, the very best way to disprove any of the above is to have a look at what we do here at RDZ PR and see why our clients value the service we provide.

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Rachel Hargrave

Rachel has over 30 years of local, regional, national and international communications experience and expertise across a wide variety of clients including FTSE 100 companies, SMEs, micro businesses and start-ups. She also has extensive charity, Not-For-Profit and Community Interest Company experience and happily offers clients working in these areas a 50% discount on all RDZ PR rates.

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Dean The Art Wizard.  www.laserengravinggifts.co.uk

Rachel is fantastic at what she does.  She is able to help you define your ambitions, develop your goals and help you grow your ideas to the stage you’re 100% happy with.  Throughout my own journey her encouragement has enabled me to really go for my dreams!  After talking to Rach I discovered the one-thing that I want to do in my life which has not yet been fulfilled.  Rach’s support has helped me believe in myself again.  Due to Rach’s assistance, we have now almost completed my very first press release which is the start of my audience growing strategy.  This will, in turn, enable me to work towards my key goal.   I look forward to continuing working with Rach in the future although I do realise I do take a lot of time up of her time!  However, I feel she also gets a real sense of satisfaction from assisting people to really go for their goals in life.   Without doubt I would highly recommend Rach and I would be happy to speak with anyone interested in using her PR services. 

Sangeeta Patel, Joint CEO, Reaching People

Rachel provided us with a day of free support in association with the LLEP programme. Despite it being ‘free’ Rachels support was professional and dedicated. We received a full day of practical support including a discussion to fully understand our organisation, an assessment of our need, the production of a communications and marketing plan that was realistic, manageable and practical aimed at helping us move ahead on the communications front and, ultimately, with our organisational objectives. Rachel achieved so much in the time she had including writing and issuing a press release that appeared in the Leicester Mercury, wording for our website homepage and a letter to go with our membership pack. She also shared her hints and tips about social media, her press contacts and she connected me with a potential Reaching People member! In all it was an invaluable experience. Thank you, Rachel for giving up your time to help us.

Heather Johnson, Botanical Artist & Stationery Designer

I went on one of Rachel’s introduction to PR workshops and it was fantastic. She covered absolutely everything, explained it all in an understandable way and didn’t try to sell anything. She gave as much information as possible, answered all questions and she was just lovely. I would highly recommend Rachel for anything to do with PR and won’t hesitate to use her services in the future.

Ravi Summan

I was introduced to Rachel by an executive coach. My requirements were to provide quality, simple to understand content to engage with my target market and generate new customer enquiries in health and wellbeing. From my first discussion with Rachel, it was clear that she had the skills and empathy to provide a service to support the growth of my business. Rachel’s content writing and editing is very effective and her diligence ensures the right message is articulated. It is no surprise to me she has a strong track record of helping entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes support their growth. Aside from her professional competencies, Rachel genuinely cares about people and working with her allows you to focus on your core business. For those who are new to building their own business or employed by a large corporate, you will get value and authenticity from Rachel’s content and PR services.

Jayne McIntosh, Director, Air Aesthetics Health & Wellness Clinics

I met with Rachel and was instantly impressed with her warmth, enthusiasm and ability to understand the key issues being faced. She took time to clarity objectives and the key tasks required. A quick study she was able to pinpoint the brand tone of voice accurately. Rachel’s’ copy writing skills have been excellent. She has written for my business website, advertorial pages in lifestyle magazine and has also written first class responses to awards entries which are curtailed in length. Rachel is just really, really good!

Victoria Curtis, Company Secretary, Mono Roofing Ltd

Rachel came to provide our company with an appraisal for the company PR, and we learnt an awful lot! Rachel taught us how to make the most of our marketing and advertising and how to make it work for us, to get the client’s we really want. Rachel has provided our company with a plan to follow, and we are gradually implementing these procedures, and we know that in doing so, it will really raise the profile of our company and get us the work we want. I would definitely recommend Rachel to manage your company’s PR.

Trusha Lakhani, MD, Great Business Matters t/a Trusha Lakhani

Rachel Hargrave is one of the best PR experts that I have met. She not only understands the best awards for her clients but also how to make the most of the opportunity for the client’s personality. Put simply Rachel gets people. She understands her clients and their goals and is with you all the way. I highly recommend Rachel Hargrave and The Awards people and RDZ PR.

Paul Gerrard, MD, Gerrard Cranes

Rachel and I met yesterday to discuss my existing marketing and options for how we can improve and develop the strategy for my business. It’s very clear that Rachel has vast amounts of experience, knowledge, ability and some great contacts to achieve some amazing results. If you need some professional guidance with PR/awards/marketing then I’d highly recommend you get in touch with Rachel and see how she can help you out.

Victoria Beale, CEO, Business Live Global

I’ve worked with Rachel for the past ten years on a variety of client projects and for my business also and the service we have received has been second to none, consistent and most importantly delivers RESULTS. I would have no hesitation recommending RDZ PR to my customers and Business Live Network. Thanks Rach! Here’s to another ten years and more!

Mark Esho MBE, Easy Internet Services, Easy Internet Solutions, Dreme, Access Rating CIC

Thanks for all the hard work you put into the PR work for our companies and subsequently the business award submissions. You made the whole process stress-free, and the quality of the submissions have resulted in the receipt of multiple business awards. Great work, Rachel.