Ask the PRincipal: Why is Branding Important When it Comes to PR?
What exactly is branding?
It seems like all people talk about these days is their “personal brand”. Is branding just a passing fad, or should I be incorporating the practice into my company’s PR plan?
From a distance, branding may appear to be just an aesthetic practice that shows up on your Instagram feed, but in the world of PR, it’s so much more than that.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how branding works, let’s think of the PR process as a gift exchange. While PR covers the way that the gift is delivered, branding is what’s inside the gift. Without these practices working together, the gift will not be received properly, or worse - not be received at all.
At Press Pillay, we suggest branding updates for our clients when we’re helping them craft their image in order to actively sell what they’re offering to the public in a way that makes sense. By aligning your company’s practices with a shared vision, mission, and values, customers will feel a sense of connection to your brand, leading to long-term, loyal support. Let’s break down how to communicate these three core components of your brand:
Your company’s vision sets the stage for your long term goals. In other words, what’s the end game of your product? For example, while working as an advertising and marketing reporter in New York, I stumbled upon the previous year’s global advertising and marketing spend. For context, I looked at what it would cost to end extreme poverty around the world and was floored to find that it was a mere 6 percent of money spent on promotion. This statistic motivated me to start a company with the vision of making philanthropy a core component of the marketing world.
If your vision is the stars, your mission is the rocket ship that will transport you there. Your vision is unattainable without a mission, so it’s important to come up with concrete actions to incorporate into all of your brand’s activities to achieve your goals. For Press Pillay, this meant branding the practice of “Pillanthropy” into our work, consisting of offering pro-bono marketing services to non-profit organizations, and giving back 10% of every dollar we earn. Your mission should be actionable and easily incorporated into your company practices in order to ensure steady progress.
What does your company stand for? Make a list of values that are key to your company’s mission, and stick to them. In everything that Press Pillay does, we ensure that our values of sustainability, equality, and empathy are communicated. This could mean taking on clients that align with our values, speaking at events that give us a platform to raise awareness about what we believe in, or sharing social media posts from philanthropic leaders around the world. Before making any decision at your company, it’s important to ask yourself if it aligns with, or is inconsistent with your values. Steer clear of any inconsistency, otherwise your values will come off as phony.
So there you have it - our complete guide to branding for beginners! Now go forth and brand to your heart’s content.
Read more: What Does a PR Agency Do?