top of page
  • Writer's pictureAndrea McKinnon

March 12, 2021

PRontheGO - The Creative Entrepreneur’s source for PR hacks. 4 hours ago·6 min read

PRontheGO: 10 Myths About Public Relations: Busted

We asked PR and growth experts: What are myths about Public Relations and common misconceptions amongst founders? What is myth, and what is reality? Here are the top 10 PR myths busted:

PR Myth #1 PR is just press releases.

Warren H. Cohn, Founder and CEO of HeraldPR:

“We have had many clients over the years who think that we just draft a couple of press releases and that will get them into the news. In reality, earning media coverage takes considerable effort and requires pitching the news story as if it was a sale, with the journalist being the buyer. Press releases are good for sharing events or big news and they have their place, but there’s no replacing strategically pitching journalists and leveraging relationships with the press to earn media coverage.”

PR Myth #2 PR makes you famous overnight.

Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO at Mavens & Moguls:

“There are no short cuts, getting great PR won’t make your company famous overnight, it takes time to build stories/establish credibility/ emotionally connect with audiences. The messaging must be authentic/relevant don’t be tone deaf or you risk diluting your brand. Green washing and woke washing will backfire today. The value of press and getting links is much bigger after the media hits since very few people see it in real time. There are so many media outlets today looking for fresh content so find creative ways to leverage your thought leadership.”

PR Myth #3 PR twists the truth in story telling

Jennifer L. Horspool, Owner at Engagement PR & Marketing:

“One of the most common myths I hear about Public Relations is that we’re “spin-doctors,” indicating we twist the truth in story telling. Nothing could be further from the truth in my practice and in every company I’ve ever worked for or done business with. The Truth: we do try to present our clients and their brands in the best light, and to do that, transparency and honesty is a must. No one wants egg on their face. It’s better to share bad news, apologize to those harmed — if harm was done or perceived to have occurred — show you care, and lay out a plan to right the wrong or put policies in place that minimize the wrong from ever happening again.”

PR Myth #4 You’re published because the PR is friends with the reporter.

Jonathon Narvey, Founder & CEO at Mind Meld PR Inc.:

“A very common myth: you get news coverage because you have relationships with reporters. Now, I’m not saying that never happens. But it does not guarantee news coverage. Let’s say you pitch a reporter. They happen to note it’s from your email address — and they know you. Great! You’ve just bought yourself an extra five seconds of extra consideration. But is your story actually newsworthy? Do they often cover this kind of topic? Have you fed them the exact information they need? If so, you can get the win, even if this is the first time you’ve ever pitched them.”

PR Myth #5 PR generates sales

Andrea McKinnon, Owner at AMcK PR, Inc.:

“Myth [and Reality] — PR generates sales. PR’s traditional function is not to increase sales through advertisements or paid marketing. Even though the gap between marketing and public relations overlaps now more than ever, they can work as a holistic and creative force in tandem. PR can result in sales when the brand is unique and press worthy, of course. A campaign that’s developed and executed well can be extraordinarily valuable [or it can do absolutely nothing] for the client’s bottom line. A sales and marketing strategy must be in place to capitalize on any PR successes, otherwise sales are not likely to happen.”

PR Myth #6 PR means posting about product benefits and advantages for free.

Elina Kochenko, PR specialist at Genesis Investments:

“PR reality: PR means getting free publicity for the expertise of founders, meaningful startup news, and emotional stories. Getting publicity for a product benefits alone is called an ad. And it’s not free. Of course, your product is the best and you know all its market advantages. But that cannot be the key message of the story in most cases. It always takes more than an awesome product to hook a journalist. You have to offer a story that hits trends or brings value to the reader. Example: Let’s imagine you are the founder of an EdTech start-up with an ecosystem of several apps for children. It would be a misconception to believe that many media outlets would be eager to write that parents should bring all the money to you right away because apps that you have are so fascinating. Mike Kotlov, who is the co-founder and CEO of entertainment & education platform IntellectoKids, shared an expert industry overview instead of just promoting his product. This is a good example of understanding that PR is not working as a tool to post ad-like content only for free. To get published with fascinating apps but without massive news behind them at the moment, you need to offer some extra value to the reader.”

PR Myth #7 Any press is good press.

Abby Herman, Director of Strategy at Snap Agency:

“There are a lot of myths surrounding all things PR, that range from “it’s expensive”, to “I don’t need a PR since I don’t have a story” One huge myth (and potentially harmful to your business) is “any press is good press”. This is not only not true and is also not good. A customer is more likely to spread how BAD your product or service is than how good it is. So if you get bad press, you will need to spend a lot of time on crisis management, or you will not have your brand and business damaged.”

PR Myth #8 Audience size is the most important factor.

Jakub Zajicek, Co-Founder & CMO at Speak On Podcasts:

“Podcast PR is becoming an increasingly more relevant strategy. Yet, the common misconception is that audience size is the most important factor — it’s not. What really matters is how relevant your message is to the listener. We experienced that speaking to an audience of just 300 of our ideal customers translated into more revenue than speaking to 10’s of thousands of people who weren’t the perfect fit.”

PR Myth #9 PR is for celebrities

Monika Bochenek, Public Relations & Marketing Manager at UWWWEB:

“One myth I am always faced with is that only businesses or individuals with “celebrity status” need public relations management or advice. This is completely untrue. In fact, the majority of individuals and/or businesses who should be seeking public relations management, are those with small and growing brands. Every dollar counts for individuals and businesses, big or small. Having a sector to public relations in a business gives customers a sense of trust, and builds credibility for your brand, without spending too much of your marketing budget. Public relations is not just about shedding light on big topics; public relations is about growing an image and creating trust. New and growing businesses can utilize public relations to bring them that ‘celebrity status’ level that everyone reaches for.”

PR Myth #10 Never pitch to a journalist on a Friday.

Karol Nowacki, Search Acquisition Manager at Tidio Chatbots:

“Modern PR is enveloped in myths of all kinds. While some do not present a big issue to companies, certain “fake tactics” should be avoided. One of the common misconceptions is “Never pitch to a journalist on a Friday”.. Our experience shows that it is indeed a myth — there are no bad days to pitch to journalists. In fact, Friday or the weekend is even better sometimes as there is much less competition in the journalists’ inboxes, which helps to jump the queue on a Monday morning!”

Thank you!

………….. — The Creative Entrepreneur’s source for PR hacks.

20 views0 comments

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

Los Angeles, CA (September 14, 2020) - Pause Commercials, (“PUCs”) announced this week that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a patent [U.S. Patent #10728619 (“the ‘619 Patent”) - Application Serial #16228607] relating to their proprietary process technology for pause ads in the over-the-top (OTT) media space.

Effective July 28, 2020, the ‘619’ Patent covers the method of delivering video and display ads, as well as making transactions, when users pause any device in OTT. Simply defined, PUCs delivers non-disruptive, non-intrusive, user-initiated relevant ad experiences to consumers when the pause button is pushed.

PUCs’ goal is to generate an incremental revenue stream for publishers with ad supported business models in film, TV, audio, and gaming by complementing traditional pre-, mid-, and post-roll options. Variations of such pause ads can already be seen on AT&T owned DirectTV in video, and in the form of semi-translucent display banners on Hulu, Inc.. Roku and Peacock also announced sponsored pause ad formats during virtual New Fronts presentations.

CEO and Founder Charles Johnson says, “Nearly 70% of us love the free content options from streaming services yet we still get annoyed when ads interrupt our viewing experience. We found a way to frustrate the viewer less by letting them dictate when ads appear and vanish.” Mr. Johnson also states that PUCs do not have to replace traditional digital ads but simply mitigate the number of pre- and mid-roll ads without losing advertising dollars and while still reaching targeted audiences. He continues, “It’s a win-win-win for the publishers, the advertisers, and the subscribers.”

COO Lauri Baker adds, “The time is now for the ad industry to define new, fresh ways for marketers to engage consumers. We’re already starting to see this within the AVOD environment through pause-ads and other formats that empower the consumer to enjoy their own unique experience. Here at PUCs, we’re bringing in a new generation of advertising through our patented process technology. Watch this space, the SVOD eco-system is ripe for exploration of new revenue models and PUCs is perfectly positioned to capitalize on this shift.”

PUCs’ ‘619 Patent, capabilities and innovation support all streaming and on-demand content delivered through internet signals and distributed across Connected TV (CTV), iOS, Android, the web, Unity, and Unreal platforms. Wholly customizable content can be viewed on any device including tablets, computers, gaming consoles, smart phones, and Smart TVs.

PUCs is currently partnered with SpringServe ad server, Germany-based Veeplay for their video playback solutions and Black-owned Revelation Interactive, an entertainment transmedia studio, for their gaming integrations. PUCs is available for licensing now and will be on CTV platforms including Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Samsung in Q1 2021. It is currently available for instream iOS, Android, and web advertising.

About The Founders:

Charles Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Pause Commercials. He is the former COO of a multimedia platform and has worked as a film writer, producer, and distributor at Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Before moving into the world of Ad Tech, he received his MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Pepperdine University, and his BA from Columbia College Chicago in Screenwriting and Film.

Ramin Nadaf is the Co-Founder and CTO of Pause Commercials. He has a strong background in Strategic Product Development with an emphasis on in-stream video infrastructure. He was also the CTO of numerous Enterprise Cloud and Mobile Custom Software Development projects. He holds MS and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Keller Graduate School of Management.

About The Company:

PUCs is redefining marketing norms and changing advertising as we know it in our growing streaming world. As competition for attention increases, everyone - marketers, publishers, platforms, and distributors - are looking for fresh monetization strategies that attract consumer attention. We work with you to customize your needs to fuel this new digital economy. Our patented technology is a low latency, server-to-server advertising solution with integrations into top-tier OTT ad-serving platforms that can personalize brands and improve KPIs through video and display ads.

PUCs was established in 2017 in Los Angeles, California by Charles Johnson, a Black entrepreneur, and writer who understands diversity issues in both Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Teaming with Iranian-American video tech expert Ramin Nadaf, Johnson and Nadaf built a team of experts, consisting of women and people of color with decades of success in technology, advertising, entertainment, and business. Collectively, their professional backgrounds tackle technical and social issues throughout ad tech, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Madison Avenue.

For more information please visit: or contact Andrea McKinnon,

13 views0 comments

A publicist’s main goal is to increase client exposure to their target audience

Publicists plant idea seeds and nurture them as they develop, sometimes enjoying great results, sometimes not. Unfortunately, there is never a guarantee for media placement, but a publicist’s job is to use expertise, experience, and relationships to increase the exposure of a brand/product/person in the media and to their target audience.

PR is not to increase sales through advertisements or paid marketing. However, the gap between marketing and public relations overlaps now more than ever – social media, influencers, paid & otherwise, Google ad words, for example, all work together in tandem as interconnected and creative forces.

PR can result in sales when the story is unique and newsworthy, of course. A campaign that’s developed and executed well can be extraordinarily valuable or it can do absolutely nothing for the client’s bottom line if the sales and marketing strategy isn’t in place to capitalize on it.

It is important to have a dedicated publicist to “protect” a brand’s message, regardless of the spokesperson hired to directly engage consumers. Celebrity spokespeople most often have their own publicist(s), but their interest lies strictly with the celebrity. It is important that your liaison works with the spokesperson’s team to ensure brand consistency and intent.

4 views0 comments
bottom of page