Unlock the power of PR: Elevate your brand in South Africa

Published Jun 10, 2024


Brand recognition and brand awareness are critical elements of effective brand management, yet they serve distinct purposes.

Brand recognition refers to the ability of consumers to identify a brand based on visual or auditory cues such as logos, taglines, packaging, or jingles. For example, the iconic crown of Tshepo Jeans or the DNA symbol of DNA Brand Architects are instantly recognisable to most consumers.

In contrast, brand awareness refers to the extent to which consumers are familiar with a brand and can recall it from memory. A consumer may recognise the name Duma Collective even if they haven’t yet used their services. Both brand recognition and awareness are crucial indicators of a brand’s success, helping to attract attention and build a positive reputation through word-of-mouth and customer loyalty.

“Good PR can help a company generate earned media placements that assist in constructing brand identity and industry equity,“ says Bonnke Shipalana, the founder and group CEO of Johannesburg-based reputation management company, The Allure Group (TAG).

“Importantly, this can and should increase industry presence and sales. Followers and customers want to hear a good story, and the better the story, the better the chance it will be published. Public relations is an effective way to build a brand, communicate with a target market, and attract further investment. When properly executed, PR can reap long-term profits.”

Case Study: Tesla’s PR-driven success: One notable example of a brand that was built predominantly on PR and did not rely on traditional above-the-line advertising (such as TV, radio, and print ads). Tesla, founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, gained significant traction and public attention under the leadership of Elon Musk, who joined the company shortly after its inception.

Musk’s active media presence and strategic use of social media, particularly Twitter, have kept Tesla in the public eye. Tesla’s product launches, such as the unveiling of the Model S and Model 3, have generated substantial media coverage without traditional advertising, demonstrating the effectiveness of a well-executed PR strategy.

The Allure Group believes that PR can significantly raise brand awareness and drive consumer interest and sales. “For new and emerging brands, a public relations campaign helps to set the narrative, create brand buzz, and build a loyal following,” says Shipalana.

To empower entrepreneurs, brand communicators and marketing executives with the knowledge and tools to leverage PR effectively, The Allure Group, in partnership with Independent Media, is hosting the “Building a Brand Through PR Masterclass”.

The event has lined up 12 industry experts who will present case studies and personal testimonies on how to build brand awareness. Speakers on the day will include, Dr Thebe Ikalafeng (creator of brand leadership and brand Africa), Qhawekazi Mdikane (Momentum brand marketing executive head), Sylvester Chauke, (DNA Brand Architects’ founder), Jeremy Maggs (Brave Group company’s managing partner), Willy Seyama (founder eNitiate Agency), Sibu Mabena, (Duma Collective’s founder), Tshepo Mohlala, (founder and chief creative officer of Tshepo Jeans) Papama Mtwisha (Founder of Africa Your Time Is Now), Thabani Khumalo (CMO Corner’s) and many more.

The masterclass will be hosted on Wednesday, July 3, from 9am to 4pm at the DP World Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Tickets to attend the event can be obtained online at www.prmasterclass.co.za for R650, while participants who prefer to attend the event virtually can secure their tickets for R350.

The Star