Myth 1: No one reads newspapers or magazines anymore. Traditional media is dying.

There's no doubt that the Internet as a news source has completely changed the media landscape. But regardless, consumers are still reading newspapers and magazines, listening to radio and watching TV. 300 million people in the world currently subscribe to magazines - I'd say that's a pretty attractive potential customer base.

Most media outlets now have a traditional and online outlet. So, by pitching a story to the media, you have great potential to be covered in both arenas with corresponding benefits, including links back to your web site and a growth in web traffic.

Ultimately, you need to understand you target audience and what media they are digesting. If they're mums who work from home, A Current Affair and Today Tonight are major outlets for you. If they're small businesses, then try a magazine like My Business. Once you understand which media outlets to target, you simply need to create a newsworthy angle.

Myth 2: PR is a waste of time when there are better marketing strategies to employ

Most consumers these days are sceptical about advertising and marketing messages. We've become more knowledgeable and savvy about our purchasing decisions. We're also likely to have been disappointed at some time or another with a product we may have bought because of compelling advertising (especially the case with many of those shop-at-home TV infomercials!).

Using PR gives the potential to create a third party recommendation for your product. If a journalist has reviewed it, thinks it's good and writes about it, then consumers feel a sense of safety in their purchase decision.

PR allows you to reach a greater number of potential customers than any other marketing strategy. You may use Facebook or Twitter to reach around 100 people at a time, you could have one on one conversations with customers, you could speak to 500 people at an event, or you could reach thousands of even millions of people at one time with a message that comes with implied endorsement from an influential media outlet.

Of course, you need a mix of marketing strategies (I do each of the things above), but when it comes to massive impact that has a high return on time and money investment, PR is it.

Myth 3: Using PR won't make me money

Most small business owners are looking for a direct hit for time and money spent. If you spend $x from your budget, then you want to know that you'll get $Y in return. Sometimes, PR is seen as not providing that immediate return on investment.

In my own experience this has not been the case. Each and every time I've appeared in the media it has led to an increase in sales and profits. My dollar investment was zero and my time investment was never more than an hour or so.

It's all about crafting a message that generates a reaction in your audience and then delivering that message to a media outlet that reaches the same audience. It's a proven and winning formula. Of course, if you were to spend thousands of dollars on a PR firm to do the job for you, you might question the returns. But by doing it yourself for free, and spending no more than a few hours on each media contact, the returns are incredibly high - and have the potential to be massive.

Author's Bio: 

Sue Papadoulis is Australia’s leading specialist in helping small businesses generate free publicity. A former journalist and radio news editor, she is the founder of the Sue Papadoulis Publicity Campaign which provides step by step advice and templates to show you how to score free media coverage on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and online. Access Sue’s special video (valued at $279) How to Generate Free Publicity for Your Business free at