Over a century ago Alvin Adams said: “Public relations are a key component of any operation in this day of instant communications and rightly inquisitive citizens.”
Adams was an American businessman who pioneered express shipments by rail in the US – his words are as relevant today as they were then.
PR is still considered vital for many figures, corporations and industries. Quotes about the field emerge almost daily – you only have to glance at Pinterest to see that – but who is hitting the mark?
A quick survey at BlueSky HQ revealed which were our favourites and why. Here they are –
Branson topped our poll with over half the office picking this quote from one of Britain’s most successful businessmen – entrepreneur, investor and founder of Virgin Group – he’s well-known for his effective use of the media.
Kerry Gill said: “It’s from a guy who really and truly ‘gets it’ and as a result of that (and some very savvy entrepreneurship) he’s one of the most successful, and instantly recognised businessmen of his generation. The point he makes is something we are – as PRs – all very familiar with, and clearly displays why the two (advertising and PR) really aren’t comparable.”
Making this distinction is why Vicki McDonald also favoured this quote: “I think this helps to highlight that advertising and PR are two very different things – which some people probably still don’t understand!”
“A front page ad may appear in front of your stakeholders but it doesn’t add value and position you as a thought leader in your field – a PR story does just that so long as the story provides insight and opinion which is relevant to the audience,” said Steph King, “Branson has got it right. He sums up brilliantly how PR adds credibility to a brand.”
The difference between PR and advertising is often a key topic in these sectors – our quote coming in second place explains just why this is.
“This is a great summary of what we do and just why PR is so valuable,” said Vickie Collinge, “We’re always facing the question of why PR is a better option than marketing and this is it in a nutshell – the only thing missing from this quote is the fact that getting someone else to say you’re good isn’t as easy as it sounds!”
David Josephs added: “PR can’t help to make a bad product into a good one. It can however help to make a good company standout from the crowd, and achieve the recognition it deserves.
“PR at its best is about helping organisations to present themselves in the most favourable light.”
That’s why this quote from Jean-Louis Gassée, a former executive at Apple, rated so highly in the office – pushing the next quote from a prolific American historian into third place.
A little tongue-in-cheek, this line was rather popular in the office.
Boorstin – a Pulitzer Prize-winner who held twenty honorary degrees – ranks highly with Alexandra Dobocan, she said: “It implies that PRs achieve greatness – and we do!
“Because achieving greatness is more than just writing well, you need to understand your markets, the cultural differences as well as traditions, and what stage the media has reached in that particular country you’re targeting. You really need to understand the person at the other end of your pitch.”
There are plenty of other quotes about PR, you can head to our Pinterest page to see some more. One that didn’t quite make our top three was from Bill Gates who said: “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations”.
Now who wants to tell Bill that won’t buy him much?