Power and pitfalls of brand PR in digital age

Top line-up for Brand PR event. Graphic: Supplied

Top line-up for Brand PR event. Graphic: Supplied

Published Jun 20, 2024


Durban — Brand public relations has become a cornerstone of successful business strategy.

It’s not just about managing crises or maintaining reputation anymore; it’s about proactively and strategically building a brand’s identity and value over time. If brand PR is not executed optimally, it can pose significant risks to a business. A poorly managed PR strategy can lead to a tarnished brand image, decreased customer loyalty, and ultimately, a decline in market share. If this process is not handled with care and expertise, it can result in miscommunication, misrepresentation, and a disconnect with the target audience. This could potentially alienate customers, leading to lost sales and opportunities.

Brand PR aims to develop and sustain a positive image of the brand, creating a strong, recognisable identity that resonates with customers and distinguishes the brand from competitors. The goal is to increase brand awareness, foster customer loyalty, and establish an emotional connection with the audience.

This is the perspective of Bonnke Shipalana, founder and group CEO of The Allure Group (TAG), a communication agency based in Johannesburg. PR is now taking on a significant role in online brand building. With the rise of social media and digital platforms, PR strategies have evolved to include content creation, influencer partnerships, and online community engagement. PR professionals assist brands in creating engaging content that not only promotes products but also reflects the brand’s personality and values. They collaborate with influencers whose audiences align with the brand, thereby expanding reach and fostering authentic connections.

The choice between managing PR in-house or hiring an external agency depends on various factors, including the company’s size, budget, and specific needs. An in-house PR team offers several advantages, including a deep understanding of the brand’s history, culture, and objectives, which enables the creation of highly aligned and authentic messaging. However, maintaining an in-house PR team can be expensive, considering salaries, benefits, and the need for ongoing training.

Hiring an external PR agency, on the other hand, brings a wealth of experience and expertise. PR agencies have established relationships with media outlets and influencers, which can be invaluable for securing high-profile coverage.

Recognising the importance of PR as a tool for brand building, TAG, in partnership with Independent Media, will host the inaugural Building a Brand Through PR Masterclass at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on July 3.

*Tickets for the event can be purchased online at www.prmasterclass.co.za for R650, while those who prefer to attend the event virtually can secure their tickets for R350.

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Daily News

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