Whether you’re an entertainment personality or running an established business, one of the most common pieces of advice you’re bound to receive is to build a brand.

Branding is important for any public-facing operation regardless of the industry, and both establishing and managing a brand is essential. More often than not, when consumers and businesses think of brands, they often gravitate towards thinking of specific products or occasionally a popular service. While it may be true that brands are often heavily associated with specific products and services, it would be a mistake to think that brands are simple and end there.

The most successful and memorable brands almost universally transcend a single product, and ultimately instead end up representing the company that established them. When a brand is associated with a company in its entirety or a wide range of products rather than a single product or service, it almost takes on a life of its own and allows for a company to promote new and interesting products and services while simultaneously capitalizing on a previously established successful brand.

While brand marketing is certainly important, brands are largely about public perception, a domain where PR agents excel. Public Relations Agents approach branding from a unique angle, separate from conventional marketing and sales strategies. Below are 4 ways a PR agent or agency can help you elevate your brand.

1. Researching and Analyzing Public Perception

Before implementing changes and deploying branding strategies, a PR agent will first gather substantial research about how the public views a company or personality, and their provided products or services. By gathering information any existing public perceptions, an experienced agent can analyze and extract valuable data from it in order to better inform brand development strategies going forward.

2. Establish Public Policy

Implementing a sustainable public policy is vital in order to influence how a company and it’s brand are perceived. Companies can invest astronomical sums of money into establishing a brand, but if their outward facing public policy, or lack thereof, frequently undercuts and betrays the image the company is trying to establish, the impact will be negligible. PR agents understand how to develop and deploy sustainable public policy strategies that are tailor-made for the specific needs of their clients.

3. Public Outreach and Communication

Developing a brand that can stand on its own and support an entire range of company products is an incredibly daunting task, and is often the dream of many small to medium-sized businesses attempting to tap into the growth, marketability and profitability that good branding would help them to achieve. There are many ways to grow a brand, and its common practice to dedicate significant sums of marketing material and resources in an attempt to successfully do so.

Above all else, PR agents excel at public outreach efforts. Where sales and marketing teams typically focus on paid advertisement strategies, PR agents often focus their efforts on editorial coverage. While the goals of a PR agent or team and a marketing team may align, each approach has its unique advantages. The unpaid nature of PR outreach strategies represents an effective means of radically altering public perception over a short window of time, as readers and viewers alike are typically more willing to approach unpaid coverage with an open mind.

4. Dynamic Planning and Management

Growing a brand successfully requires frequent evaluations of each decision a business may make, and how it may impact public perception. One of the most valuable skills a PR agent can provide is the ability to analyze important decisions that may affect brand imaging, and develop strategies to ensure that company actions boost their public image, rather than harm it.

Both branding and public perception are complex and at times, difficult to manage. Taking advantage of the services of an experienced PR agent is simply an effective way to manage both, and to elevate your brand to the next level.