Branding and PR: How they go hand in hand
A company’s brand is what sets them apart from its competitors. It gives the company a personality and a unique set of traits that are recognizable by outsiders. For a company to succeed, it needs to have a strong brand identity. Building this identity can be handled by both marketing and PR.
According to PRSA, brand journalism is a discipline/function of public relations. Brand journalism focuses more on brand awareness and storytelling that gives the brand a personality. Unlike marketing which is more sales-orientated, brand journalism is about humanizing a company and presenting it as someone customers can trust.
Clarissa Longo, a marketing coordinator at SUJA Juice, talked about what is necessary to build brand awareness. “You need to know your target audience in order to carefully craft a strong brand identity. It’s like creating a personality and looks similar to how you would craft a person's personality if you could.” This involves steps such as crafting a brand voice, creating a color pallet, and figuring out the overall look and feel.
Longo explained why it is important for a company to know their target audience before crafting a plan to tell the story they want their consumers to hear. “If they want to attract high-income consumers, they need to establish a premium brand identity using nice packaging, premium formulas, and an aesthetic that appeals to their customer.”
Establishing a target audience is essential for any company that wants to be seen by the public. But does your target audience affect how you go about establishing a strong brand identity? Longo had wavering thoughts on this. She talked about how many of the core steps were similar but the “degree of effort or attention to detail may vary depending on who the audience is, “You don't need to put nearly as much work into creating a brand personality for private label toilet paper as you do into a premium cold pressed juice.”
Branding and PR go hand in hand. An article written by 5W PR explained that, “careful PR management seeks to support a brand's identity in the hearts and minds of consumers.” Public relations is all about maintaining positive relationships between companies and their publics. A company's brand is everything the public sees. Branding and PR are like clouds on a rainy day: you can’t have one without the other.
Establishing brand identity is not a one-and-done situation. It is something that needs to be continuously addressed. Longo talked about her personal experience at SUJA Juice. “It is something that needs to be consistently considered, which is why we have brand guidelines so that we do not veer off from how the brand is supposed to present itself.”
By: Ana Wester
Ana Wester is a native San Diegan. She is a senior at San Diego State University. She is pursuing a bachelors degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. After graduating, she hopes to work in PR for a sports team.