Branding vs PR. What is the difference?

Written by Michael Matthews

27 September 2022


The difference between branding and public relations is the difference between what you are and what you do. Simply put, branding is about creating a memorable image for your business, while PR is about amplifying the brand persona to generate exposure, engagement and ultimately sales.

What is branding?

There are many definitions of branding, but it’s not just about the logo or slogan. Your brand is the foundation of your company – your shop window. It’s everything that makes your company unique and sets it apart from competitors.

Branding is about creating an identity and perception. It is your story, based on your business mission and core values. What do you stand for? How do want people to think about you when they see your name or logo?

What is Public Relations?

PR encompasses the strategy and tactics used to get your brand message in front of the right audience – to promote your company, build awareness and a credible reputation, create loyalty and fundamentally drive sales. It’s about creating thought and industry leaders, generating leads, driving traffic to your website, getting people interested in products or services — and then converting engagement into sales and long-term customers.

PR must be flexible to keep up with changing goals and company objectives. These goals tend to be more specific than branding goals and have K­PIs attached to support the achievement of business outcomes – a new product launch or a campaign to increase sales in a particular area for example. In other words, PR is focused on results with tangible outcomes.

While your branding requires consistency, your PR requirements will change and evolve over time.

What does a successful brand look like?

Branding projects are a success when they have full buy-in – from the CEO to the shop floor – and all team members embrace and embody the company values.

Branding is about building trust and loyalty. It requires regular, honest, consistent and dependable communication with your audience. The most successful brands build trust among consumers through their actions, not just their words. Your brand must communicate a unified message across all mediums. Print collateral should use the same font, colour palette and artwork as your online advertising. Consistency helps customers quickly identify you, and that connection builds trust in your products or services.

When consumers trust a brand, they develop loyalty towards it because they know what kind of experience they will have when interacting with it – whether online or out in the world. It makes them feel secure in their choices and allows them to recommend it to others.

But that’s not all: branding also means creating a connection between your employees, so that everyone has pride in being part of something bigger than just themselves.

But which is more important?

PR and branding are both important, but they’re distinct from one another. Public relations is the process of generating interest in your product or service through storytelling, while branding is a strategy for making your company memorable. But while the goals of each are different, it’s a symbiotic relationship – a partnership. Your business thrives when branding and PR align.

For more information about how Berkeley Communications can support your branding and PR goals, please get in touch today