Difference Between Corporate Communication and Public Relations

The main difference between Corporate communication and Public relations that Corporate communication is part of the entire organization. Corporate communications are messages issued by a company, agency, or institution to its publics. While Public Relations can be both internal (employees, stakeholders, and shareholders i.e. stockholders) and external (agencies, channel partners, media, government, industry bodies and institutions, the educational community, and the general public).

It is known that institutions, companies, and brands interact with many factors in the process, especially the target audience. Essentially, the visibility of an institution and the institutionalization process also depends on the communication it initiates and maintains. At this point, due to the indispensability of communication, we encounter two important concepts and application processes. Corporate communication and public relations ; These are two important process management concepts that contain communication inherent and which every business that wants to introduce itself must incorporate into its structure. 

Both concepts have practical applications necessary for the strategy, communication and relationship network, corporate management and identity studies that the institution needs and will benefit, apart from its marketing understanding. Today, you cannot see a business that does not include corporate communication and public relations studies. Especially large-scale companies, institutions, and strong brands constantly open their communication channels and prepare various campaigns and studies. 

Corporate communication and public relations are indispensable institutional indicators of many businesses, but they are often used by being mixed. Especially the concept of corporate communication expands its scope by including public relations practices. However, the main difference; becomes evident over communication and relations. However, on the practical side, there are situations where these two concepts can be intertwined. In our article, we will go into the details of corporate communication and public relations studies over basic differences.

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What is Corporate Communication?

Corporate communications is the whole of the communication activities carried out by the institution by its own goals and vision and mission. Since the 1990s, institutions have sought to show their presence through communication efforts. At the point we have reached today, institutionalization shows itself depending on communication. Corporate communication studies are shaped by both internal and external communication understanding. There is not only an external target audience in the corporate communication approach. The communication covered by the concept also covers the organization’s own internal communication network. 

In the institution itself; senior managers provide coordination covering the human resources department and other units. In line with the demands, needs, and goals of the institution, each unit communicates with each other and develops a sustainable communication approach. Apart from this, the institution uses communication tools for direct and indirect communication with the target audience it determines and creates communication strategies for the target audience. Especially in this period, successful corporate communication activities can be done through communication tools and channels. 

With this development of communication channels and the effect of digitalization, among corporate communication strategies; corporate websites, corporate blogs, social media and micro sites. The important thing in corporate communication is to carry out the necessary communication in the most accurate way with the target audience and stakeholders. All short and long-term communication strategies and implementations are made to enable the institution to explain itself and to ensure the continuity of communication. Corporate communication can also be a resource for public relations studies.

Corporate Communication VS Public Relations (Difference)

Corporate communication and public relations are at the heart of their campaigns and strategies, as two concepts of communication that are often carried out together.

However, the obvious difference between the two concepts can often be ignored. Namely, there are studies and strategies for the continuity of communication as the main source of corporate communication.

In public relations, it is also important to develop relations with communication. Public relations, with its hundreds of definitions, has a very wide area and includes many concepts that affect each other. 

In the corporate communication approach, apart from the communication activities of the institution, it is necessary to cooperate with public relations to form relations with the target audience and stakeholders. The public of public relations is the non-broad target group. Public relations support corporate communication with efforts to improve relations with all factors influential in the process, especially the target audience.

In corporate communication, he shares his understanding of communication with a method of public relations and agencies about how to maintain relations. At this point, it is necessary to open a separate parenthesis to public relations agencies.  Public relations agencies run event management, sponsorship, corporate identity and reputation studies, social responsibility campaigns, crisis management, and new media applications for the institutions they serve. The main purpose here is; to reach the goals and target group of the institution and to expand and advance the relations with the target group and its suppliers and partners. 

Corporate Communication and Public Relations consist of two very close sections, with almost the same target audience and messages. Both are linked to position an organization in the eyes of its stakeholders, customers, and consumers.

Corporate Communication mainly deals with the written and sometimes verbal communication that must be done to inform all stakeholders about a company’s vision, mission, and strategic goals. It includes internal and external communication depending on who needs to know what.

Corporate Communications uses a variety of different platforms to inform a company’s stakeholders of its activities. The website is an external corporate communication tool, brochures, bulletins, letters/messages of stakeholders, annual reports, magazines, e-mails, announcements, meeting minutes, intranet internal communication platforms.

All the platforms mentioned above are used to disseminate important information about an organization’s current and plans. Good organizations take corporate communication very seriously because they know their duty to share their plans with their stakeholders/stakeholders.

The Public Relations role is coming. As the name suggests, this section deals specifically with information that goes to the masses to position an organization’s brand in the eyes of the general public.

Public Relations uses external communications prepared by Corporate Communications to create a positive image about the company. Press releases, social media, public activities, presentations, etc. to attract public attention to the products/services offered by a company. Uses the environments.

The Public Relations team often works closely with the Corporate Communications team to identify external audiences (tears) and prepare appropriate external communication messages and broadcast materials.

The Public Relations department also deals with media agencies, advertising agencies (Corporate Communications and Marketing is responsible for getting an advertising agency) to reach audiences and spread the company’s message.

It is important to remember that for Corporate Communications and Public Relations to work very closely and to function successfully, they need to exchange information promptly. Any gap between the two departments can lead to huge losses. With this in mind, a large number of organizations combine the two departments under a single manager/chair to ensure the smooth running of operations.

Both teams come together to identify their target audience and agree on content as well as communication so that there is no inconsistency or ambiguity regarding any message.

Both corporate communication and public relations work to improve communication with the target audience throughout the process of the institution. Communication is the basis of both concepts. Both concepts present briefs to the institution about what to do during decision-making and implementation. Communication practices and campaigns of successful and strong institutions also emerge when they give the necessary importance and value to public relations with corporate communication.

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Managing Public Relations

Public relations strategies are needed for the institution, business, or company to be active and to be remembered in the eyes of the target audience. It is also necessary to manage the understanding of public relations to implement these strategies correctly. A management perspective is needed to bring public relations activities into line with the objectives. Accordingly, a series of public relations strategies and activities should not be implemented in an unplanned, erratic and impractical manner. For this, a regular program and a perspective that can manage the process are required. 

Institutions or public relations agencies need to be able to carry out the planning, strategy building, target audience analysis, risk management, concept implementation, and audit phases before their public relations activities. It is important that these stages can be successfully implemented for a public relations campaign. Each stage contains plans and applications that affect each other. Public relations staff and consultants work together in the process for the coordination and compatibility of the stages. In public relations management, the appropriateness of tactics and strategies are measured, analyzes are put forward and a suitable concept is determined. Then the campaign process to be implemented is managed and the results are evaluated. 

In competitive market conditions, it should be important to make the plan of every step to be taken correctly and carefully. Public relations activities and campaigns, with a correct and attentive management approach, also give the desired results and implement a ready-made plan for any situation, being aware of the risks. 

FAQ on Corporate Communication VS Public Relations

What does corporate communication mean?

Institution; to use the communication network for its goals and objectives and to carry out various communication studies. In corporate communication, there is an internal and external target group and appropriate communication studies are applied. It is within the scope of corporate communication strategies to show the organization’s own presence and reach the target audiences by using communication effectively. 

What is the main difference between corporate communication and public relations?

The main difference becomes evident through communication and relationships. Corporate communication tries to reach the target audience and other stakeholders by using communication as the main factor. Public relations, on the other hand, aims to increase the communication network to a higher level by developing an existing and unincorporated relationship network and prepares various campaigns. 

How are public relations managed?

A management approach is also essential for the public relations campaign and its activities. This management approach includes planning, analysis, concept, implementation, and audit stages in the process. Each stage is necessary for proper plan implementation and successful campaign outcome.