Branding and PR (public relations) are two of the most important factors in the success of virtually every business. They go hand in hand with building a brand and, later, maintaining the same. A business can’t grow or succeed without both of them.
What is Branding?
Branding is the process of creating an identity for your business. It comprises various components, including visual assets (logo, website, color palette, fonts), social media presence, and marketing (online and offline).
Whether you work with a custom logo designer or leverage a logo design tool online, it’s so important to create a powerful logo to create recognizable branding to increase awareness and recognition in the market. Strong brand identity reflects the business’ mission, vision, and value.
The icon, brand colors, and tone of voice can help create a positive perception in the minds of the audience and help them identify your brand. It’s why you need to focus on using relevant visuals and engaging consumers across various print and digital mediums.
It’s also important to keep in mind that a successful brand can’t survive in the market if it doesn’t have good public relations. You may find it challenging to create brand recognition for your business without including PR in the process.
What Role Does PR Play?
PR is the core of a brand’s communication with the world. It’s one of the main ways a brand talks to the public, the media, consumers, and its clients. It’s what humanizes the brand and brings it closer to the audience.
PR is also about creating an impressive brand image and influencing public perception. This plays a huge role in branding in the long and short term.
The Importance of PR for Branding
PR has always been an important factor in a brand’s success. Any smart business has people who take care of its reputation and communicate with the brand’s audience.
PR has changed throughout the years as a result of technology development.
In the past, before the digital era, PR professionals were the face of the brand. They communicated with the audience directly, through TV and radio reports, newspapers, and print materials.
But, now, with the appearance of the internet, things are different. PR has evolved and the role of the professionals in this field has changed. They are no longer the face of the brand; the ones who stand in front of the camera answering questions and informing the public.
Their job now is more subtle, but still incredibly important. Now, they can directly engage in reputation management activities, identify problems in the relationship between a brand and the public, counsel leadership, and more.
Relationship Between PR and Branding
The way brands communicate and present themselves in the market has changed to adapt to the consumers’ needs. They had to because, nowadays, people rarely read newspapers in print, listen to the radio, or wait for TV announcements.
Now, we can find everything we want with a few clicks, keywords, and hashtags. As Pew Research Center shows us, almost everyone uses social media to get news. They also mention in their article that social media is crucial to get the latest updates. So, brands need to be up on these trends.
Brands have followed this change and are increasingly using digital platforms to reach out to their audience. As a result of this, PR has also gone online and it became much easier to create brand awareness, boost the brand image, and communicate with the world.
What Does PR do for a Brand?
PR helps the brand identify its target audience which is the key to a business’s success and growth. Failing to identify the right target audience can lead to a brand’s failure in selling its products/services. PR helps the brand focus on the consumer base and create key messages that are relevant to that base.
This also helps the brand in choosing the right communication channels and finding the best way to reach out to its target audience.
PR is mostly about storytelling and can highlight the unique selling point by bringing a brand’s story to life. It can help businesses make a lasting impact on potential customers and build a loyal clientele.
With a one-of-a-kind brand story, it’s easier for brands to gain the trust of consumers and connect with them emotionally. In the end, this is what attracts and retains clients.
The process establishes the brand as an expert in the field – by creating captivating and high-quality content, PR helps a brand become an authority within the industry and supports engagement as well. It also helps in creating innovative ideas and sharing them with their audience through blogs, social media, websites, ads, etc. It simply gets your content where it needs to be.
How Can You Improve Your PR Through Branding?
The branding process consists of several steps:
- Coming up with a name that is easy to pronounce and remember
- Identifying your target audience
- Defining your mission and vision
- Outlining your brand’s qualities and the benefits it offers
- Creating visuals (logo, color palette, tagline, font families, photo style, tone of voice, etc.)
- Creating a brand identity
- Establishing an online presence by creating social media pages/profiles
- Creating SEO content
- Creating corporate materials, such as flyers, banners, business cards, catalogs, etc.
Coming up with marketing strategies for promoting your business to the target audience and establishing a name in the industry should be a high priority for every brand.
You can improve your PR by incorporating it into your branding strategy and engaging with the consumers directly.
Why Should You Incorporate PR Into Your Branding Process?
According to Elaine Bennett, marketing specialist and blogger, PR builds your brand’s publicity, awareness, visibility, and reputation. It also establishes good relations with your target audience. Consumers want to do business with brands that have a good reputation and presence in the digital world.
That’s what makes PR an essential component of your marketing strategy.
There are 4 reasons for incorporating PR into the branding process.
Your brand’s image is one of the most essential factors for its success. How people perceive your business plays an important role in whether or not they want to buy from you.
The first impression is crucial for building a strong relationship between a business and customers. As 35% of the participants in a survey stated, a brand’s image and quality is the most important factor for their loyalty to a business.
A good example of the importance of a brand’s image is the luxury brand Hermès. They avoid mass production and outsourcing to have full control over their products and, with that, their brand image.
2. Clear Communication
When creating content or communicating with your target audience and other interested parties, you should keep it simple, short, and straightforward. In that way, people will understand what you want to say immediately. That will bring you more PR opportunities and gain positive publicity.
People engage with companies that they trust. About 94% of consumers state that they buy from completely honest brands.
If you want to become a reliable brand, you have to offer trustworthy products/services. Also, you have to be accessible and consistent with your customers.
Both branding and reputation focus on controlling the reputation of your business. If your business is not branded or doesn’t have good PR, people will make different assumptions about it, likely negative ones.
To create a reputable brand, you need to be clear and know exactly what your business is about. When you combine that with good PR, you will succeed in building a positive reputation.
How to Use Branding for Improving Your PR?
There are 5 ways to use branding for improving your PR.
Adjust Your PR Strategy to Your Brand Identity
A brand’s identity comprises all the elements that a business creates to present the right image to its target audience. It’s about who you are as a brand and the design assets.
Your PR strategy has to reflect your brand identity and tone of voice. The content created for your brand has to match its identity. Brand consistency across all media is an essential part of building reputation and trustworthiness.
When planning your PR strategy, think about the essence of your brand, its mission, value, and what is it about. Also, consider the key points you want your target audience to know about your brand when they visit your social media pages, website, or blog. Your communication with them should revolve around those points. That will define your business and will lead to more successful PR opportunities.
Use Influencer Marketing
Having influencers promoting your products/services is a great benefit for your brand. They are brand ambassadors that subtly show people why they should buy your products/services.
When using influencers, your brand gains a lot of exposure, publicity, and reliability. People trust a person they know or are familiar with due to their online popularity over a traditional ad or brand message.
To achieve your goal of gaining new customers, you have to find the right influencer(s) for your brand. That takes some time, good research, and building a close relationship with the right influencers once you narrow it down.
You can use social media to look for potential influencers that are relevant to your brand. You don’t want to make the mistake that Sears made when hiring Kim Kardashian as their influencer.
As Forbes magazine stated, “Sears is relying mainly on inauthentic celebrity exclusives (does anyone really believe that Kim would actually shop at Sears?) to attract younger, fashion-conscious consumers”.
That’s why you should carefully choose the influencer that will be your brand ambassador.
Use Media Monitoring
Media monitoring allows you to see how your target audience perceives your brand. This refers to tracking mentions and conversations across social media platforms.
By monitoring the media, you will be able to understand what kind of communication is well-received by the target audience. You can also protect your brand by easily identifying brand threats and potentially prevent a reputation crisis by immediately responding to negative press.
Media monitoring helps you improve your PR and allows you to have your brand’s reputation in control.
Create High-quality SEO Content
PR includes creating blogs, articles, videos, and other informative content about your business. Your content is also an inevitable part of branding, according to ThriveHive.
As you can see, content belongs both to branding and PR therefore, it should be high-quality, concise, relevant, and optimized for search engines.
You should include your content in your storytelling to boost your PR efficiency. It should be educational, informative, and entertaining. Including visual content, such as images, GIFs, and videos, is a great idea because it’s easier to get noticed, understood, and remembered as well as increases your audience’s engagement.
Creating content is one part of a great PR strategy. The other part is sharing the content created.
You should publish and share your content on several media channels, such as your website, blog, and social media pages. It will increase your exposure, reach, engagement, and reputation.
Leverage Social Media Platforms
It’s a fact that social media is one of the most popular methods of publishing and finding information. It’s also one of the top methods for branding and promotion.
Social media made everything simple, especially PR. For this reason, most brands use social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for building their brand image and reliability and adding value to their products/services.
Social media plays an important role when it comes to branding and PR. It’s because it’s part of both of them.
It’s one of the steps of the branding process, referring to establishing an online presence through social media platforms. It’s also part of PR strategies and campaigns for publishing and sharing content and communicating with the audience and media.
Social media improves your PR by identifying brand threats, engaging influencers, and helping manage the relationships with the audience.
Branding and PR are closely tight one to another so their intertwined relationship allows you to use your business’ branding for improving your PR.
Good PR is a powerful branding tool and it has become crucial for every business. It’s what helps you build your brand identity and image, establish your online presence, and maximize your reputation.
If your brand’s PR is not good, your business won’t be able to establish itself as a reliable one on the market. It won’t stand apart from the competitors, get noticed or grow.
Remember, your PR is what spreads the word about your brand, boosts its exposure, and places your brand on the market. So, when planning your PR strategy, use your branding to maximize its efficiency.
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2 thoughts on “How to Step-Up Your PR with Branding”
Hey Alicia, You explained about branding and PR marketing very well.
In these days, branding is very important for the business to stand out from the crowd. You nailed it very well.
Thank you for this post Alicia and Anthony.
Keep bring such awesome content on this platform.
Branding is super important. You’re 100% correct, Venkat. If you have a poorly developed brand, that can leave a lasting, negative impression on people in the market.