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Recently, we have been hearing a lot of new and common terms relating to marketing and branding, whether for large organizations or small businesses. Among these terms, “public relations” stands out, raising questions about its role and impact on a brand, especially in the context of modern marketing.  

This article explores the definition of brand, delves into the concept of public relations and its importance in marketing. We will discuss the impact and role of public relations on a brand’s image and reputation and explain how public relations is vital in modern marketing strategies—and how it can play a key role in building and enhancing a brand’s identity in an effective and sustainable way. 

What is a brand? 

Before delving into the importance of public relations and its relationship with a brand, we must first understand the concept of a brand in general. A brand represents the unique personality and identity that distinguishes any product, service or organisation. In other words, a brand is the primary symbol associated with the identity of the product or service; it is what distinguishes a product or service from other similar products and services available in the market. Among the symbols that may highlight and refer to the brand are the organisation’s name, its logo, the product type, the country of origin where such a brand operates, and other identifiers.  

A brand is one of the most important factors that determine the perceived quality of a product or service. It is also an effective tool for attracting clients and customers and enhancing loyalty to the brand, especially where there is fierce competition in the marketplace. Therefore, a brand must be unique and distinctive. This article on Forbes gives more insights on what a brand is. 

What are public relations? 

Timely communication and interaction with a target audience are considered key tools in achieving the success of projects, companies, or organizations. Success requires several well-thought-out strategies to achieve positive results in sales, marketing, and penetrating the competitive market space. The effort is what is called public relations. The remit of public relations is diverse and includes managing external communication, crisis management, policy guidance, public opinion analysis, internal communication, and brand marketing. Beyond our cursory analysis of public relations, this article on the HubSpot blog throw more light on the subject. 

How does PR (Public Relations) contribute to brand building and marketing? 

Public relations play a crucial role in building and marketing a brand. In today’s world, where there is fierce competition and the means of communication are constantly evolving, social media has emerged as an indispensable tool for reaching a target audience. The primary goal of public relations is to establish a strong relationship between the brand and stakeholders, regardless of their role, diversity, and background, and whether they are current or potential customers, employees, shareholders, or public opinion leaders. In other words, building a successful and strong brand is the core of any organization’s success. 

With the right public relations tools, a brand can build a positive and strong image in the minds of the public—this, in turn, can help an organization achieve long-term success. This means having the public relations team work to promote the brand’s product by managing communications and relationships effectively with the target audience and stakeholders. 

When an effective public relations strategy is implemented, a brand’s reputation and recognition is easily enhanced. This is best actualized through a media presence using advertising, social media, and well-considered public relations activities. With these processes, consumers and other stakeholders learn about the brand’s vision and goals, including its customers stories and feedback.  

Brand’s PR Strategies for Success – A cursory glace 

The success of every brand relies upon the works of the public relations team to building a positive and strong image. This can be achieved through several activities that help increase awareness of the brand, such as events, press releases, promotion on social media platforms, and leveraging relationships with media contacts, activists, influencers, and prominent figures to promote the brand and create positive discussions around it. Public relations experts work closely with the marketing team to strengthen and solidify the brand’s reputation and promote its messages to the public. When the public meets a brand with a positive image, it increases people’s loyalty to the brand and their interaction with it. This, in turn, increases sales and helps the brand flourish.  

In addition to building and marketing a brand, public relations strategies contribute to building trust and establishing lasting relationships for the organisation with customers, partners, and investors. By adopting a transparent and continuous dialogue approach, the public relations team can provide vital information and effective communication to all parties; this flow of information encourages potential customers to interact with the brand and keeps current customers engaged, ultimately building a lasting relationship based on trust. This is one of the fundamental pillars that leads to increasing growth and prosperity for the brand. Good public relations strategies also help companies generate news sales and attract new customers, reduce customer complaints, and build a positive brand image.   

How great brands build and maintain their reputation with PR 

Public Relations have a role in maintaining the reputation of a brand by keeping customers and consumers informed about its activities. Keeping consumers and customers glued to the brand by focussing on consumer needs, desires, and emotional connection are great ways to enhancing reputation. Successful reputation management by a brand result in continued patronage from customers and their unalloyed loyalty to the brand. 

In my practical experience in the field of consulting and public relations, I consider strong reputation management strategies to be the cornerstone of building and maintaining a successful brand. Some of these proven strategies include: 

  • Building relationships between brands and various target audiences. 
  • Introducing the brand to the public while building trust and reliability in all its approaches and engagements 
  • Increasing knowledge of the brand’s products and services to the target audience through newsletters, social media, and other modern promotional tools. 
  • Incorporate flexibility and agility when working with the press and media to build new and existing relationships. 
  • Guiding customers and encouraging them to interact with the brand in new and innovative ways. 

Read: 10 ways to Build a Solid Reputation Management Strategy in Africa 

There is no gainsaying that public relations play a vital role in the success of a brand, as it serves as the face of the organization and designs processes for relating with the public, customers, and society. To achieve and sustain maximum success in today’s world, companies should invest in the right public relations strategies. 

In conclusion, public relations strategies contribute to the success of the brand by focusing on the target audience, understanding their needs and interests, and analysing their behavior. This enables the public relations team to shape strong marketing messages and ensure their delivery to the appropriate audience in the right way and at the right time. This helps the brand to effectively communicate and interact with the target audience, achieve positive results in sales and marketing, and enhance its performance in the competitive market. 

Given its expertise as a leading and specialized public relations consultancy in the Middle East and Africa, Djembe offers strategies, tailored to meet the requirements of each client to achieve their long and short-term goals.   

Writer: Hanane 

Account & Project Director  

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