Public Relations and Brand Management

Public relations is the practice of building a positive reputation for a company in order to drive business growth. When done well, PR can help companies stand out in an oversaturated market, increase sales and attract new customers.

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To successfully execute PR campaigns, it’s important to understand who your audience is and what they want. PR teams can identify stakeholder groups and communicate information that appeals to them.

Reputation Management

Whether you’re trying to protect your reputation, build brand affinity or boost sales, your digital reputation is crucial. Often, the best way to achieve your goals is through a solid reputation management strategy that includes monitoring perceptions and conversations, responding to threats and proactively seizing opportunities to build and maintain reputation.

PRs are often in the spotlight, decrying rumors and slamming detractors, but good reputation managers work in the background, working to quietly build up and bolster reputation. They might crush a competitor’s search listing rankings or cause a bad story to be forgotten by the media.

Reputation management companies usually focus on online channels, such as blogs, social media posts, reviews and testimonials. They may work on a one-to-many basis, targeting multiple publications with the same message using different spokespeople. This helps to spread the word, rebutting criticism from all angles for a stronger final result.

A positive reputation can help attract the right talent to an organization, which in turn can lead to business success and growth. It can also help an organization become recognized as a leader in its industry and inspire customer loyalty. In fact, customers are more likely to trust a brand with great reviews than those without. Ultimately, a company’s reputation is its biggest asset. It is important for comms teams to be well informed and alert of any issues that could impact reputation, so they can act quickly.

Brand Management

Brand management is about building and managing a company’s brand identity. It involves creating a strategy to communicate your brand’s image and values to consumers. This can be done through marketing, public relations, and social media. Ultimately, brand management is the foundation of any successful business.

One of the main differences between branding and PR is their objectives (end-goals). Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds relationships with an organization’s audiences. These audiences include employees, shareholders, local communities, and the media. Its broader goals are to maintain a positive public image and brand reputation, build brand awareness, and engage potential brand promoters.

As a result, PR often requires more creativity than other marketing tactics, especially when it comes to generating unique content. It also tends to be more time-sensitive than other marketing strategies, such as advertising and promotions.

It’s important to understand the difference between brand management and PR so you can plan the best way to achieve your company’s marketing goals. For example, if you’re trying to increase brand recognition by having your business featured in a local newspaper, it may be better to work with a public relations agency that specializes in media coverage than an advertising agency. They’ll have the resources to get your message in front of a larger audience and will be able to craft a news story that will resonate with your audience.

Crisis Management

As PR pros know, crisis management involves the process of minimizing brand damage and maintaining public trust in the wake of a negative incident. This can include anything from a natural disaster to an employee misconduct scandal. To minimize impact, companies must develop a PR crisis response team and train them on protocol in the event of an emergency. Sabina Gault, CEO of the agency Konnect, said it’s important to assemble teams of both in-house professionals who have a deep understanding of the company’s operations and outside experts who can look at the situation from a journalistic perspective. Then, the team must devise a strategy and brief members on how to respond to the media in an effective manner.

As a general rule, it’s best to respond to a crisis as quickly as possible. This will show you care about the issue and that your organization is proactive, not reactive. It will also prevent other people from filling the information vacuum and control the narrative of your story. As Carney and Jorden note, silence gives the impression that you’re hiding something and lets others control the message.

Additionally, studies have shown that increased attributions of organizational guilt and defensiveness in the face of a crisis decrease purchase intentions. However, it’s important to balance your desire to apologize with legal constraints and financial limitations.

Marketing

PR practitioners often work to generate publicity through a variety of channels. These can include press conferences, social media, video news releases and speaking opportunities for key leadership members. Public relations also often utilizes the traditional channels of marketing to reach out to potential and current customers to create brand awareness.

Public Relations is a specialized and nuanced field, and some PR professionals choose to focus on particular specialties. For example, crisis management is a common focus area for many public relations professionals, who are adept at managing the media during times of conflict and disaster. Some public relations professionals may also specialize in specific types of industries, such as manufacturing, retail and government.

Another specialized area of PR is media relations, which involves building a relationship with external press and media outlets to generate earned coverage for an organization. This can include hosting a news conference to announce new product lines or providing a spokesperson for television or radio interviews.

While public relations and marketing are sometimes confused or conflated, they are distinct from one another in their goals. Marketing is typically more focused on expanding the audience of a brand and delivering a particular outcome, such as increased sales. Public relations can help to drive this metric through increased public awareness, but does not always guarantee it.