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November 20, 2015

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Dispelling 4 PR Myths

Many organizations and/or individuals reach a point when they realize they need to hire a firm for PR purposes, and there are times when those potential clients see a quote and are taken aback by the cost of PR. We think the reason for this is that many don’t understand exactly what PR is, and the amount of work and time that is involved. Come to think of it, I still don’t think my family or friends “get” what I do for a living and I’ve been doing this in the arts spectrum for over 20 years now! Rather than writing at great length about it – I thought I would do some drawings to dispel four PR myths that we often come up against.


Party JPeg

REALITY: While we do end up working parties, dinners and red carpets – the truth is that the majority of our time is spent not only planning for these events, but working closely with clients, determining their objectives, writing pitches (a LOT of pitches) and then reaching out to media, potential promotional partners and sponsors. It also involves booking and coordinating interviews, putting together schedules and itineraries which also entails booking travel/hotel/meal reservations, organizing events and cars (cars are a HUGE thing BTW, which most of us hate dealing with – especially during festivals such as TIFF). In addition we build invite lists, organize and set up media for red carpets, write press releases and/or stories and plan social campaigns etc. I could go on and on, but basically, “sexy” is just about the last word comes to mind when I think of PR!


black phone JPeg

REALITY: Like most people, journalists aren’t sitting idly by their computers or phones waiting for the next great idea to come through. They receive hundreds of pitches and press releases every day. That, and the fact that the media seems to be shrinking daily leaving the remaining journalists/editors/producers with an increased workload while vying for smaller space and/or less air-time. That makes our job even more challenging. That said – it also opens the door for us to be more creative and find alternative ways of getting the word out. All of which takes time, hard work and planning, but we certainly do love new challenges.



REALITY: The media has always had a voracious appetite for covering A-List/US talent, and in recent years social media has put even more pressure on them to do so. I mean, who doesn’t want to read another riveting piece about Kim Kardashian?!? It seems that once a Canadian actor has been validated as an A-Lister south of the border – that’s when the Canadian media suddenly step up to the plate and are interested. Got an A-lister backing your project? You’ve got a story. Of course I am generalizing, as there are outlets that continue to be supportive of young Canucks – but it certainly isn’t the norm anymore.


MYTH: At the end of a contract, the amount of media impressions or the quality of general coverage is directly proportional to the amount of work that went into a PR campaign:

Time JPeg

The end result isn’t always an indication of the amount of hours that have gone into a project.

With the way the world is now, I don’t believe the media’s appetite for covering A-Listers or chasing after trending celebrity stories will lessen. In fact, in this day and age, there seems to be even greater pressure placed on increasing click-through rates or the number of shares, and in all fairness – the media does need to give to their audience what they want to see in order to stay competitive. It’s our frustrating reality. We often wish one of the outlets would step up, take a stand and take the lead on producing more inspirational content that truly reflects and represents the rich cultural universe we all live in. domain name examples I don’t consider Kim Kardashian’s ass to be culturally significant – maybe that’s just me. We certainly do love a good challenge – and our challenges now are greater than ever. Does this make PR somewhat sexy? My answer to that is still no, but with the challenges we now face – it certainly is an exciting arena to be in.




Careers, PR, PR LIFE