The power of PR is unparalleled, helping individuals and businesses to control their public perception and reap the rewards of a more positive reputation. According to the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), the most recent statistics show that the UK PR industry was worth £14.9 billion in 2019, and it’s only expected to have grown in size since.
The two main types of PR are consumer and corporate PR, but for many, the difference between them isn’t apparent. To clear up the confusion and ensure you know what type you require for your own brand, we’ve broken down consumer PR vs corporate PR below.
What is consumer PR?
Consumer PR is the most common type of PR and refers to activities that allow a business to communicate with the public. Consumer PR campaigns are usually moulded around a particular goal. For instance, a brand may want to shape its public image by telling a particular story, increase awareness within a new target audience, or simply promote a new product, service or event.
With ever-growing digital consumption among the public, there are now more opportunities than ever before to get a message out to key audiences. As such, consumer outreach strategies typically involve a wide range of channels, from omnichannel social media targeting, to working with influencers and online publications.
While more digital channels means more opportunities for brand messaging, it also means there’s more noise and competition than ever before. Because of this, PR professionals need to closely monitor consumer trends so that they know what will pique the interest of their target audiences.
What is corporate PR?
Corporate PR is more concerned with appealing to a professional audience, whether that’s line-of-business (LOB) decision-makers, the C-suite, or other business authorities. It also relates to internal communications, helping to improve interdepartmental communications between employees, stockholders, investors, and executive teams.
The main goal of a corporate PR campaign is to convince key decision makers to buy a business’s product or service. This is usually achieved by identifying a need or problem that a potential buyer has and crafting a PR campaign that positions the business as the solution to that problem. Corporate PR can also work to improve company image, attract top talent and investment, strengthen brand loyalty and engage existing employees.
External outreach strategies will be more focused on corporate communications channels, like trade publications, or professional platforms like LinkedIn.
So, what’s the difference?
The main differences between consumer and corporate PR are:
While both consumer PR and corporate PR activities aim to promote a business’s credentials in order to generate more income, the targeted audiences are altogether different.
Consumer PR can be considered as a B2C strategy that aims to improve public perception and convince consumers to become customers. Corporate PR on the other hand is a more B2B approach that is laser-focused on attracting income from other businesses or investors.
That said, sometimes people refer to corporate PR as any kind of PR promoting a business (regardless of who it’s appealing to), meaning the lines between the two can be blurred.
PR strategies need to be adapted to their target audience, so it stands to reason that consumer and corporate PR strategies tend to use different outreach channels. For instance, an omnichannel social media strategy across TikTok, Instagram and Twitter will likely appeal more to consumers than a professional post on LinkedIn. Similarly, a feature in a lifestyle magazine will generally have more value for consumer PR, just as a feature in a trade publication would for corporate PR.
Corporate PR is all about knowing and understanding market trends, identifying the pain points business owners have, and positioning a brand’s service or product as the solution to those problems. Consumer PR is more about understanding what’s hot in the world of the consumer, like viral news stories or lifestyle trends, and aligning a brand’s product or service with that conversation to make it appeal to potential customers.
Here at Pitch, we run PR campaigns for all kinds of brands targeting all kinds of audiences. To learn more about our PR services, be sure to check out our dedicated PR page or contact us at your nearest convenience.