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Top 5 Myths About Communications, Content Marketing, and PR

Updated: Jun 25

We meet with a LOT of prospective clients, and every lunch meeting, Zoom call or coffee talk is different. But lately we've noted a running theme - that old myths about our industry are baaaaack, and they're increasingly coming up in conversations about the business of marketing and communications. If you're hiring an agency for the first time or choosing a new firm through the agency review process, read this list before you sign. It just might save you and your creative partner a little time, energy, money and frustration. Here are our top 5 myths about communications, content, marketing and PR. (Don’t get us started on No. 4. 🤖) 

1 - “Communications is not my priority. I’m a small business owner!” In you're running a small business and you talk, type or ask someone else to do it on your behalf, then communications should be a priority. Comms pros can help you know what to say, when to say it, and who to tell. That applies to customer service, internal team communications, social media messaging, investor relations and talking to the press.

2 - “If I have bad press, I can just use SEO/SEM to fix my search results.”

Managing a brand reputation crisis after it has happened is far more difficult than proactively working to avoid the situation in the first place. And, it can be costly. (So, while you can bury bad search results, the effort may come with a steep price tag.) Communications pros are brand guardians and can help you stay out of the wrong spotlights.

a man being interviewed for a podcast
Advertising is what you pay for. Publicity is what you pray for.

3 - “PR has no value today because I can just buy sponsored content or pay a journalist to cover my brand.” There's an old industry saying that still rings true today: "Advertising is what you pay for. Publicity is what you pray for." Today, consumers know how to spot advertorials and sponsored content. While it might boost audience awareness in certain circumstances – like in a trade publication, for example – an earned endorsement from an influential journalist is far more impactful. And, by the way, journalists working for legitimate outlets cannot take money in exchange for coverage. So, how do you reach them? By working with a skilled publicist.

4 - “I don’t have to pay for content anymore. I have ChatGPT!”

Um, no. Don't believe us? Ask your attorney.

5 - “PR is more expensive than advertising and I can only afford one or the other.”

You can do a mix of both. Instead of taking an always-on approach to marketing and comms – meaning, you're always doing all of it – think of your annual calendar as a chance to plan out tentpole moments for each. A leadership change may deserve a PR push, while a product launch might demand an ad buy.


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