Marketing is all about building a relationship with your target audience and much less about selling your products. Public relations is the effort to build this relationship with your audience on an ongoing basis with its focus on generating a positive impression of the brand on people and the society at large.
It can be argued that other media like advertising or social media or brand building strategies can also help maintain your credibility to your audience. But let’s take for instance the product your selling malfunctions and this enrages a single customer who makes a media scare out of it.
How will you handle it then?
Just your social media channels or advertisements will never be enough to mend the damage to your reputation… This is where PR comes in!
It helps you build a strategy that runs across all your communication channels but more importantly- it runs across the media itself. Here personal apologies and explanations can be given through the media to your audience in a faster, more personal way.
This helps mitigate the damage to your reputation in a much faster and effective way.
Knowing just what steps to take to make the right impression on your audience in these critical times is what PR is all about.
WHAT IS PR?
Public Relations has everything to do with maintaining a positive brand image and perspective in people’s minds for a particular brand. It uses both direct and indirect means to communicate to their audience in an effective and persuasive manner. It focuses on maintaining a favorable reputation of the organisation and its brands.
Public relations extend to media relations, investor relations, government relations, community relations, internal relations, customer relations, and marketing communications.
WHAT IS CORPORATE COMMUNICATION?
Corporate communication refers to the internal and external communication between various audiences that the brand as a whole interacts with.
These audiences include customers and potential customers, employees, Key stakeholders, media and the general public, Government agencies, and third-party regulators.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PR AND CORPORATE PR
Corporate communication: Corporate communication usually deals with internal conversations in an organisation. A major part of its functions has to do with interdepartmental communications, communication to the employees, stockholders, investors, executive team.
Public Relations: PR generally communicates with the public outside the organisation. Communicating with journalists, the media, pitches, social media, the events, etc, is all part of Public Relations.
2. Scope of work
Corporate communication: People who work in this field are responsible to connect every department in an organisation via an employee newsletter, internal websites, blogs, etc. You need to have insider knowledge and communicate the organisation\’s agenda with varying degrees or secrecy to different employees – and you need to be able to do this effectively.
Public Relations: The main goal of a PR professional is to manage an organisation\’s reputation by crafting and delivering newsworthy stories to the media, journalists, corporate events, and through marketing channels.
The PR team is also responsible for any backlash when the company faces a crisis in regard to its reputation. They are also the spokesperson for the company and are responsible for communicating with the public on behalf of the organisation. They need to be able to work in a fast-paced environment with quickly changing priorities.
3. Keep your eye out for
Corporate communication: If you are working in corporate communications you need to know everything about the firm which includes the next steps the firm takes, how the employees perceive the firm, what is being said about the firm internally and you need to stay on top of interdepartmental conflicts.
Public Relations: As part of a PR team, a person needs to have a keen eye for the latest trends and be able to use those trends to promote the organisation in a manner that gives it publicity. It also helps if a PR professional is a news junkie. Over-all you need to be able to keep a pulse on the public opinion of your organisation and communicate that internally.
FUNCTIONS OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
1. Media and Public Relations:
This function of Corporate communications deals with how a company communicates with the general public and the media.
Conducting news conferences, interviews, and product launches are a huge part of media and public relations. This also includes creating materials for the same like banners and flyers.
Another almost sure-shot way to garner attention is through writing and distributing press conferences to the media.
Managing the news and conversation in the media regarding the brands, product, organisation, key employees and members of management is another one of the functions that media and Public Relations undertakes.
Coming up with a strategy to turn around negative press coverage in a manner that makes you favorable to your audience once again is a critical part of their functions.
In short, Corporate Communication includes PR, but PR doesn’t include every function of corporate communication.
2. Customer Communication and Marketing:
Although the two departments used to be viewed as separate the lines between both are now beginning to blur. The communication that a brand adopts for itself is very often translated into the marketing strategy and vice-versa.
Some of the functions that are carried out as a part of these departments are marketing emails brochures, flyers, newsletters, website copy, and social media strategy.
3. Crisis communication:
When a company faces a crisis or an unforeseen event, that has the power to damage their reputation, it’s the job of the corporate communications department to address it in a responsible manner. The definition of a crisis may be different for different organizations.
It’s usually done with the help of expert professionals and agencies outside the company. Some of them may include communicating with attorneys, politicians, the government, emergency responders, etc.
Advising company representatives on what and how to communicate with the media during news briefings and interviews.
The overall objective is to make certain that the reputation of the company is untainted along with ensuring that the company’s business doesn’t suffer losses.
4. Internal Communication:
Internal communication in an organisation is usually a collaboration between the Human Resource Department and the Corporate Communication Department.
Internal communication is inclusive of drafting memos and emails regarding company updates, news and initiatives; creating printed materials like employee handbooks, etc; compiling employee resources like employee benefits; managing internal blogs newsletters, and other communication content.
BENEFITS OF CORPORATE PR
1. Boosts credibility
Being seen as an honest and reliable brand in the eyes of your customers is what helps you stay successful and impactful in the long run. Writing up articles to post in targeted industry trade journals and publications is a proven way to build brand character and credibility.
Since our audience is constantly bombarded with advertising, they tend to ignore most of them but appearing in a publication or being quoted in an article is more effective since your audience knows you didn’t pay to get featured.
2. Creates a positive brand image
When you are consistently featured in the media by holding press conferences, giving newsworthy and positive stories about your brand to the media. The public starts seeing you as a reputed and credible brand that can be trusted.
In addition, promptly responding to a communication crisis, by holding a press conference and interviews can help mitigate negative perception about your brand effectively and instantly.
3. Generates brand awareness
Corporate PR is a great way to get your brand in front of potential customers. If PR is done right by your organisation, your story will be picked up by a number of media networks and offer you a wider reach and coverage area for your brand, adding the factor of familiarity to your audience in relation to your brand and product.
It’s also cost-effective since PR is typically “earned” and not paid for. So it is much cheaper than traditional advertising techniques and in some cases even digital advertising techniques.
You can also use these positive news articles about your brand to reach out to your existing customers, by sending them links to these articles via newsletters, email campaigns, and on your website.
4. Enhances customer relations
Well thought of PR campaigns help your company achieve all their goals and build a positive outlook for your company. A good Corporate PR campaign will consider the internal as well as external public of an organisation and build a good impression of the brands for both sections.
Good customer relations help you maintain and build lasting relationships with existing and prospective customers. People will see your brand as trustworthy when you consistently appear in credible news media.
In conclusion, every organisation needs and mix of Corporate Communications and Public Relations working hand in hand to communicate effectively with its organisational universe.
Communicating internally is just as important as external communication with your media and customers.
Corporate PR is critical for any business organisation to stand out against their competitors, steer clear of any negative perception toward your brand, and to nurture existing client relations, and build new ones efficiently.
If you have any questions for us, please leave them in the comment section below and we will be more than happy to help.