This myth is potentially one of the biggest myths going.
Or it may just be that I hear it a lot from business owners who are putting obstacles in the way and keeping themselves small.
But I’ll let you be the judge of that 😉
In the meantime, let me drop another #truthbomb.
If you pick up a magazine and flick through the pages, you will very rarely see a PR story from a big brand.
It's not because they don't need PR, but they know that an advertising campaign is going to consistently bring in the big numbers that they need to sell more of their products. And they have the budget to do so.
With a lot of the big brands, if they’re not seen to be advertising then their competitors will start rumours that they’re failing. That they can’t keep up. And then they’ll start to entice customers to buy from them instead.
Imagine if Coca-Cola stopped advertising. Pepsi would have a field day and would probably launch a campaign specifically for Coke drinkers, to get them to start buying Pepsi instead to quench their thirst and satisfy their need.
And this is the risk that big brands take if they’re not seen to be advertising.
As for PR?
Big brands DO have PR agencies and teams working for them, but their focus is on keeping said brand out of the media.
Because an unsavoury story that’s leaked to the press will be much more detrimental to their reputation, and no-one can afford to f**k up.
If you Google the definition of PR, it will tell you that the role of public relations is to manage a brand’s biggest asset – its reputation.
It's the job of the PR team to manage their reputation internally and externally.
Their job is focussed more on crisis management and crisis communications, always keeping their stakeholders informed of what's going on.
When you see big brands in the press it’s usually to make a statement or launch a campaign that they know will have an impact and drive change.
Nike is a really great example, because when you see them in the press you know they’ve got something bold to say.
Take the launch of their plus size clothing range as an example.
Now, I'm into my health and fitness and I know that unless you're a size 14 or below, a lot of sportswear just doesn't fit properly.
I don't know who creates clothing for women, especially fitness clothing for women, because so many brands get it wrong.
I have been blessed with a big booty, hips and thighs, but a lot of gym leggings just don't offer the coverage I need, especially on the squat front. And trust me, no one wants to show their underwear every time they're doing a squat because their leggings go see-through!
With a lot of fitness brands, if you’re bigger than a 14 or a 16 then you’re screwed if you want to keep your modesty.
So, when Nike bought out a plus size range it was kind of a big deal.
All of a sudden, they were elevating themselves above all the other fitness manufacturers. Their message was loud and clear – they wanted to embrace women of all shapes and sizes and give them the confidence to work out, knowing that their leggings had them covered. Literally!
And this is a massive thing in the fitness industry.
A huge barrier to people working out to go into the gym is that they don't feel comfortable and they don't feel confident because their gym kit doesn’t fit and it isn’t flattering.
If they can't find clothes that are going to help them feel comfortable and confident then they're not going to go. End of.
Dove is another great example of using the media to do good.
Several years ago (maybe over a decade ago!) there was a lot of backlash in the media about fashion houses only using teeny, tiny models in their advertising campaigns and on their catwalks.
A lot of the fury was created because these models weren’t actually role models for ‘real’ women.
So, Dove launched its own campaign, only using real women in all of their advertising campaigns. No more air brushing, or filters, they simply celebrated ALL women and how they are all beautiful no matter what their size, shape or ethnicity.
This campaign was aired on TV and used in their print advertising.
It made an impact and that's what you want from a campaign, whether you use advertising or PR to share your message.
However, for many entrepreneurs and small businesses, advertising with the big boys isn't an option, but getting in the media is.
Going back to the belief that PR is only for big brands, it's just that, it's a belief.
OR it may be that you've had a bad experience in the past, or you've tried to get in the media before and it didn't work.
But just because it didn't work once, doesn't mean that it'll never work. Chances are you didn't have a process to follow, or your news hook wasn't strong enough, or your pitch wasn't on point.
In fact, there are many reasons how/why it can go wrong, but if we were put off by every hurdle we came up against we wouldn't still be in business!
It could be that someone else has told you that PR is only for big brands., that it's not for people like you, and you've believed it.
But if you pick up a magazine, and flick through the pages, the only big brands you see inside have advertised. You’ll very rarely see a big brand using PR to share their message.
So how are magazines filling all of these pages?
Yep, you guessed it, with PR stories from people like you.
Publications want to publish real life stories that will inspire their readers.
They want to share knowledge and advice from experts that will help their readers.
They want to showcase the latest fashions, the must-buy beauty products and the homeware that will make your house look gorgeous.
Because it’s what their readers want.
And their readers are regular people like you and I, who want to be inspired, who want to learn and be educated, who want to lose themselves in a magazine for 30mins while the kids are in bed and while their cup of tea is still hot!
You do not need to be a big brand to get in the press.
All you need is a story or expertise to share.
There’s a reason why you created your business.
You're here to inspire other people to make a change.
Whatever you’re selling, you have a reason to get in the media.
PR is not just for big brands.
If anything, I'd say that PR is for everyone except big brands, because they're spending money on keeping out of the press. They have bigger obstacles to overcome.
PR works in different guises for different people and different industries.
When we peel back the layers, it's all about using your voice and sharing your message, and we all need help to hone that skill.
Every time Boris Johnson or Donald Trump appear at a press conference, they have worked with their PR advisor to make sure they’re delivering the key messages in a way that people will understand.
Their PR advisor has written out their speech in a way that works for everyone. The key message is conveyed in a factual way so as not to evoke too much emotion, offending anyone or pissing them off.
PR works for different people in different ways.
When entrepreneurs and small business owners choose to work with me, it's because they want to raise their profile and be seen as a credible and trusted authority in their industry.
They want to take their visibility past social media and step up on a bigger stage, to speak to a bigger audience and influence more people.
More people = more impact = more money.
If you believe that PR is only for big brands then I want you to squash it, get rid of it, crumple it up and throw it in the bin, because it is not correct.
The world needs you.
People need you to show up and share your gifts right now.
Public Relations is all about connection, communication, inspiration and impact.
My focus is to build and share and engage and connect and this is what PR does in its simplest, truest form.
It helps you to connect, communicate, engage, inspire and impact.
When it comes to getting clients in the media, for me the focus is always about quality over quantity.
Quality pieces of coverage that are perfectly positioned in front of your ideal clients will help you become a trusted authority in your industry. People will see that you’re the real deal, that you’re legit.
Because if you’re good enough to be featured in a magazine, or on a podcast, on TV or on radio, then you must be someone to follow, to admire, to work with, right?
If I've managed to dispel the myth that PR is only for big brands, but you're still unsure how to actually get in the media, then book a free PR Discovery Call with me to discover how you too can get in the media and make the impact you desire.
Missed the other blogs in this five-part blog series? Here's how you can catch up:
PR Myth #1: PR is hard
PR Myth #2: No-one wants to know about me
PR Myth #3: PR takes up too much time
PR Myth #4: PR is expensive