Marketing is key for any business to thrive. But it’s so much more than just selling a product or service. While public relations is typically thought of as bringing that service or item to an audience, it’s also necessary to have PR for the company itself. This is known as corporate PR.
Beyond the sales mission, corporations and companies need to have a voice and leave an impression on the audience.
This is vital in a successful business, even if the product is popular. PR strategies like advertising and media exposure can build a holistic brand, from garnering attention about a product to gaining and maintaining credibility as a company. With that gravitas, it’s easier for a product to stand independently.
Consumers need to know the company’s values, mission, and decision-makers. Plus, if that product starts to fail for some reason, it’s the PR that will manage the fallout. Corporate PR can mend any potential reputation damage. Plus, it includes proactive strategies to ensure the company makes the right impression on the audience even when not in crisis.
Here’s everything you need to know about corporate PR.
What is PR?
Public relations aims to manage your company’s relationships with key stakeholders. Customers, employees, investors, media, and general public stakeholders can all be stakeholders.
PR helps your business achieve its goals by building positive relationships. You can accomplish this through various strategies, such as content marketing, thought leadership campaigns, and community relations.
What Does “Corporate Communications” Mean?
Corporate communications is a type of public relations that focuses on how a company communicates with its internal and external audiences. This communication can take many forms, such as advertising, announcements, employee relations, investor relations, media relations, and community relations. The overall goal of a corporate communications plan is to build and maintain a positive reputation for the company.
PR vs. Corporate PR: What’s the Difference?
PR and corporate PR might seem the same, but they serve two different functions. Traditional public relations is about promoting a product or service a company makes or provides. It’s centered on selling and driving revenue for the business.
On the other hand, corporate PR is about building a positive reputation for the company and brand. The positive image ensures the audience and society trust the brand and its products. It also allows the company to have a personality outside of its products. This is especially important in the age of social media and when consumers make purchasing choices depending on a company’s values.
PR is more promotional, while corporate PR is about trust-building with the audience.
Why is Corporate PR Important for Branding?
In today’s world, brands need personalities and identities. Sure, you can sell a product. But what are your company’s values? What does it stand for? What impact is it trying to make on society at large? Building a reputation will entice a consumer to choose your brand over another.
Plus, if there is a positive association with the brand, consumers will be more forgiving if something goes wrong with a product. Therefore, corporate PR is vital in ensuring the brand is as powerful as possible.
What Are the Benefits of Public Relations for Corporations?
There are several advantages to having a corporate PR strategy. These benefits will depend on what kind of strategies you implement and how effective they are. But in general, these are some of the primary benefits:
- Helps you understand and manage your reputation
- Allows you to build strong relationships with key stakeholders
- Improves communication within the company
- Fosters a positive corporate culture
- Increases transparency between the company and the public
- Helps you respond quickly and effectively to crisis situations
How Can Corporate PR Fit Into a Marketing Plan?
Many elements go into having a solid brand. No one thing will make a successful company. Corporate PR is part of that equation, along with traditional PR and marketing. PR and marketing can be long- and short-term strategies for a new product or initiative.
Meanwhile, corporate PR tends to be long-term as it builds a company’s identity. But it’s also there to support in a crisis. They all complement each other to create a positive reputation for your company. Together they make a brand, an entity with a purpose shared via its products and company voice.
How to utilize corporate PR within your branding strategy:
1) Media relations: getting press coverage for a product or service is one facet of media relations. But it should also be used to speak about the company as a whole to raise awareness and develop a positive reputation. Corporate PR can help identify the stories to tell about a company’s values, mission, and efforts beyond the product.
2) Crisis communications: every company will have some crisis. Corporate PR is vital in mitigating the damage by having a team ready to work on a strategy and public messaging. This ensures that even a short-term blow won’t affect the overall positive reputation of the company.
3) Social media: every company should have a social media presence as a way to speak to consumers and the public. It also provides the opportunity for a voice and stance on social situations and pop culture moments. But corporate PR can help craft public-facing messages to connect with your audience and build your reputation.
4) Thought leadership: there’s no better way to give voice to a brand than having its leaders speak out. Corporate PR will help identify internal leaders with interesting stories to tell and perspectives to share that align with the company’s values. This is yet another way to strengthen the brand.
5) Speaking engagements: building off the notion of thought leadership, speaking engagements are a great way to position the company and its leaders as an expert in your industry. It also allows consumers to have another touchpoint with the brand, which builds relationships. But, again, corporate PR helps find those speaking opportunities, prepare for them, and promote the appearance before and after.
6) Partnerships: working with another brand can strengthen your reputation if you have similar values and stances on issues. Corporate PR can research possible companies to partner with, set up those conversations, and then promote the partnership once it’s in action.
7) Community outreach: consumers want to know how companies are helping society as a whole. That’s where community outreach and involvement come into play. Corporate PR can help identify charities to work with that speak to your mission and find local groups to support to show you care about more than profits.
8.) Awards: winning an award for something other than your product bolsters your reputation. You could be recognized for philanthropic effort, community involvement, and much more. Corporate PR can find those relevant awards and submit the company and/or its leaders for them. Plus, if you win, they can help promote the news.
As you can see, corporate PR is vital in the branding strategy. While many of the actions are similar to traditional PR strategies, it’s through a different lens. For example, instead of using media relations to promote a product, it’s used to promote your company, its leaders, and its values. This all works together to create a brand. Plus, it proves that your company is interested in more than its bottom line.
Corporate PR is a crucial element in creating a strong brand identity. If you want consumers to resonate with your company and choose you over the competition, work with a top notch PR firm to develop a strategy that includes corporate PR.