Brand strategy and Public Relations may be two separate things, but the way they work together is vital to the success of a company. With so many similar terms in the business world, it can be easy to get confused on what each of them actually means. So let’s start off by simply defining these phrases. Defining the Terms
Brand strategy is the way you define what your company stands for; it is the way you want your brand to be perceived by others.
For example, what words do you associate with the brand Lexus? I’m guessing you’re not thinking of words like ‘bargain’ or ‘practical’. Of course not; Lexus is a brand one associates with expense and luxury. They want to their automobiles to be seen as something they dream of attaining.
This is very different from WalMart’s brand strategy; they want to be viewed as a one-stop shop, where you can buy everything you need at a very low price. They are conscious of this and, hence, emphasize it in all of their marketing and PR efforts.
Public Relations, or simply PR, is strategically managing communication between a company and the world outside of it.
- If Lexus wanted to strategize how to sell their latest car model, that would be considered marketing. However, if they want to sell the idea that all things Lexus should be aligned with the concepts of success and wealth, then they are attempting to send a message to the public about the overall brand. Communicating about reputation rather than a specific product? That is PR.
How Do These Concepts Connect?
The ultimate relationship between the two terms is this: PR is needed to support brand strategy. Once you’ve defined what your company’s mission statement is, you can define how you want your brand to be seen and convey that image.
- Let’s go back to our example with Walmart. They’re mission statement is: “We save people money so they can live better.” They want to be seen as a company that offers people the products they need at low prices, giving them more opportunities.
- On June 20th, Walmart donated $14 million dollars to non-profit organizations in order to give meals and provide nutritional programs to raise awareness about eating right. By offering these grants and publicizing doing so, they paired themselves with the ideas of helping people obtain what they need and offering them a chance to live better. Good work Walmart!
What Are Some Examples of PR That Telate to Brand Strategy?
Your company may not have the capability of offering millions of dollars towards philanthropy, but that’s okay. Donating to a cause that aligns with your company’s mission statement is just one way to communicate your branding. Here are a few other ideas to consider:
- If you don’t have the money to donate to a cause, have people from your company volunteer their time towards one. That could be an environmentally-conscious brand doing a beach clean up or a company committed to using less paper doing a campaign about recycling in local elementary schools.
- You can put out advertisements that are about your brand rather than specific sales or products. Walmart does this all the time; they highlight how much you can save overall rather than showcase how much a gallon of orange juice costs this week.
As you’ve seen, brand strategy and public relations are tightly intertwined concepts. However, now that you understand how these two build off each other, you can go forth and get your brand’s message out!