Branding and PR for Startups

Branding and PR for startups consists of how startups portray themselves to the public, and the way in which they do so. This could be ways of creating a PR strategy which involves multiple platforms that the brand would use, in order to interact and engage with their target audience. The timing of these two elements is important as PR cannot happen before a startup has branded themselves. Once the company has decided on their branding, this being their voice, tone, image, story, goals and so on, they can then move on to ways in which they can bring their content in front of their audiences.

What is branding?

Branding and PR for startups is a way in which companies create strong and positive perceptions of themselves through elements such as logo, design, mission statement, image, and a theme remaining consistent throughout their marketing and communications. Branding done right can effectively help businesses stand out from their competition, leading to greater yields in customer loyalty and business expansion. This also means that customers expect the same tone from a business throughout their entire presence, including email, website, customer service and any other touchpoints they may have.

Why is it important?

Branding impacts the overall status of a company, making it one of the most important aspects. It can change the way audiences perceive them, increase sales and traction, and increase the value of a company. However, if done incorrectly, it can severely impact a company in an incredibly negative way. Whether or not the company does anything, their reputation is constantly built up which results in a good or bad reputation. Branding, once understood, can be used to take control of what their reputation looks like and how it is perceived. It is recommended that branding is considered and developed at the very beginning. Branding isn’t only for big companies with massive budgets, it has a lot to do with common sense and is heavily impacted by the market a company is in and the level at which they are playing at. The cost of branding can vary from business to business, depending on whether it is local or international, large or small, and the quality of it. This means that high – end consultants and excellent implementation of it will have drastic price increases, as well as whether the company is marketing globally or locally.

What is PR?

Public relations, PR for short, is informing stakeholders about an organization whilst also forming positive opinions of the brand through strategic communications. Essentially, for startups, it refers to the use of various media platforms to form positive images of the brand. In a sense, it is getting someone else to say that a brand’s product or service is great. PR professionals produce narratives to form PR strategies that advance the objective of their clients. It ranges from protecting, enhancing, and building reputations through social media, to other communication mediums. A solid PR professional researches and analyzes an organization to find positive messaging and translate them to positive stories. If the news is unfavorable, they can strategize and create the best responses possible to negate any damage the brand may take. PR for startups in essence, is putting them on the media landscape, in order to create a positive image and show themselves as being an innovative and thought leading brand in their market segment. 

Why is PR important?

PR can have a significant impact on a company’s online branding and reputation. It is a gateway that allows for the increase in public perception and sentiment of the brand. There are a few reasons as to why PR is important for brands. These range from increasing brand sentiment, generating leads,sales, and profits, and building credibility, to creating an active playing field and connecting to targeted audiences. Branding and PR for startups helps brands tell their stories, distance themselves from their competition, and provide a constant stream of ideas which the media looks for to engage with their audience. It also helps when things are going good or bad, as when companies face unsatisfied or disgruntled customers, there may be reviews, comments, websites, and so on which try to tarnish their reputation. PR campaigns can help redirect and mitigate this negative information on the brand, leading to positive and more engaging content. Consumers tend to feel more comfortable with brand’s who are already established. This comes down to showing a history of strong media coverage which ranks highly in search results. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with PR, but when it all comes down to it, there are many services and methods they can use to ease the process and put a step in the right direction.

Branding and PR for startups

In addition to understanding what PR and branding are separately, it is just as important to be able to differentiate them from each other. Branding and PR for startups have different goals, timings, functions and reputation management strategies. The goals for PR are to manage and nurture relationships, while branding is about creating an identity. The timing for PR would come after the branding. How would a company be able to maintain and engage with their audience if they have nothing to do so with in the first place. The functions for PR are mainly related to interacting with employees, governments, media and investors, while branding engages with individuals, generic and family branding, brand extensions, brand imagery and naming. Both PR and branding have to deal with managing a company’s reputation. The difference is that PR helps businesses defend and protect themselves in times of crisis.

Branding and PR for startups is pivotal for their success as it determines who they are and the content they want to produce and use to engage with. Branding is such an important aspect for a startup as it will be how the public perceives them or how they want to be perceived. This means that the startup needs to brand themselves in such a way so that it aligns with their values and goals. PR is the next step to that, which is the way the brand will be promoting themselves and interacting with audiences. It is important for startups to understand both as they are equally as important and if done correctly can be game changing for new startups.

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