The Role of PR in Brand Identity | MODERNSPEAK

Kristyn Snell (She/Her)

October 16, 2023

Just as businesses strive to cut through the clutter and reach customers through various marketing and communications tactics, Public Relations can play an important role in ensuring your brand is gaining traction in your industry and gaining credibility through positive media coverage. Whether your goals are to launch a new business, or a new product, to change perceptions, or to increase sales, using public relations for brand identity can help build your reputation with key audiences.

 

A comprehensive PR strategy can be a game changer in shaping public opinion about your brand. Understanding your target audiences, what they care about and where to reach them is essential in determining your messaging strategy. Securing a positive news story in a trusted media outlet is a third-party endorsement and helps get your message across.

 

Connection between PR and brand identity

 

PR can help build a strong brand identity by getting your story in front of your key audience. A consistent presence across various media channels helps keep your brand top of mind. It allows you to build lasting relationships, both with your customers and the media covering your industry. A strong PR strategy can help you leverage the power of earned media to reach your audience through various touchpoints to achieve your business goals - brand awareness, gaining trust and brand loyalty, or announcing new products.

 

How PR professionals help create and communicate a brand's unique story

PR professionals act as objective listeners to determine the key stories about your business that will impact consumer behaviour. They get to know your target customer and their motivations to determine stories and key messages that will resonate with them and the media that cover your industry. For example, you may have developed a business solution that seems obvious. However, it may be considered innovative and newsworthy, fitting into a current trend or global theme about sustainability, or corporate responsibility.

 

How positive media coverage contributes to brand trust and credibility

Mainstream media and trusted journalists continue to be an important source of information for consumers, despite the increasing level of distrust of media. Media coverage acts as a third-party endorsement adding authenticity and influence to the messaging about your brand. Generating positive and accurate news coverage about your brand helps to increase trust and credibility with your consumers and can be a helpful tool in addition to your marketing efforts.

 

How partnerships with influencers and media outlets enhance brand visibility

Businesses can partner with influencers and media outlets to gain brand visibility and reach their target audience with unique and captivating content. Both influencers and media outlets have curated their unique audiences and have built the trust of their followers by providing engaging content that resonates.

By finding an influencer or outlet that aligns with your brand and reaches your target audience, you can leverage their following and create awareness for your brand or product.

 

Often, influencers or outlets have developed a very niche following, which allows you to target a very specific type of consumer versus other digital marketing efforts. Partnerships are typically paid campaigns and offer a different channel and content opportunity than traditional advertising. Partnerships can be a cost-effective marketing and PR tactic, and brands should look for ways to integrate and amplify this content across other channels in the marketing plan to maximize the partnership.

 

Innovations and evolutions in PR's role for brand identity

Where PR used to rely solely on strong relationships with journalists to secure media coverage or get a heads up about an upcoming story in the paper or evening news, social media has created a 24-hour news cycle. The line between “career journalist” and “citizen journalist” has blurred, and now, a video of a negative interaction can go viral in minutes. Brands can no longer quash a story before it runs or even provide a reaction.

 

How a company reacts to a crisis or issue is crucial in returning from the incident. There is an increased need for crisis communications and issues management to protect a brand's identity. Sensitivity training for social media and customer service teams and media training for executives are becoming more prevalent to mitigate risk in case of a negative incident.

 

As innovations in AI continue to evolve, new tools are coming online that help to automate story creation, media pitching and news dissemination. Time will tell how these tools will impact the industry. Still, in the meantime, human interactions and relationships cannot be replaced by bots, and consumers will become more savvy in identifying AI-created content.

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