Corporate Communication vs. Public Relations: How Are They Different?

In today’s information-driven world, good communication is crucial for a business to function. Corporate communication and public relations are crucial to a company’s survival on this front.

What are public relations? If you decide to work in public relations, you will collaborate closely with management to create and uphold relationships between the company and the broader public. Excellent written and verbal communication abilities are necessary for this competence. Building your company’s reputation through visible channels, such as hiring editors and reporters to discuss your company based on the data you provide, is essential for forging these connections. Controlling the public’s information is also important, especially if your company is going through a downturn, and gossip or misinformation might cause panic or harm the organization’s brand.

What is corporate communication? Any internal and external communication activities a firm conducts are considered corporate communication. Internally, you support management in building communication channels across divisions as a corporate communications specialist. An internal magazine or newsletter, for example, educates employees on what is going on in each department and any upcoming special visitors or events scheduled by the company. Externally, you can do anything from preparing annual reports for investors to joining community working groups to assist with public concerns. If your business does not have anyone with the necessary skills for corporate communication, don’t worry! All you need is a little outside help. An outside source, a corporate communications agency, can help you.

There are so many parallels between corporate communications and public relations that they frequently appear to overlap. However, here are some key differences between the two to help clear your confusion:

1. The Need for Media Expertise

Who the corporation is speaking with is the key difference between corporate communication and public relations. While corporate communication mainly involves dealing behind closed doors, in many instances, corporate communication interacts with the brand audience. On the other hand, PR professionals interact with the public and the media. They send press releases, respond to queries from reporters and journalists, and manage crises or fiascos involving the firm’s reputation.

According to research (UK RepTrak 2012), just 31% of a person’s readiness to speak favorably about a company is impacted by what they think of the firm’s goods and services. Instead, 69% of that willingness is determined by their opinion of the organization. Thus, having media expertise can go a long way.

2. Brand vs. Brand Image

The process’ long-term aim is another significant distinction. Communication inside corporations is a strategic endeavor with the ultimate objective of developing a brand.

However, public relation is all about establishing a positive reputation and a brand image. The primary goal of this business model is to maintain the brand’s reputation among stakeholders.

Corporate communication uses various channels to update stakeholders on a company’s actions. The website serves as a venue for internal communication inside the company, in addition to pamphlets, alerts, stakeholder emails and messages, annual reports, journals, announcements, and meeting notes.

Corporate communications’ prepared external connections are used by public relations to promote the business. Media releases, social media, public events, demonstrations, etc. are used to emphasize a company’s goods and services.

So, should you build a brand or brand image? The short answer is both. The long answer is that one is nothing without the other. You must focus on building the brand and its image as a business owner. If your business only focused on brand building, then out might be able to run your organization effectively, but your business won’t bring in large returns. Whereas, if you only focus on image building, you might be able to attract more sales. Soon, the business will lose due to mismanagement and lack of a firm foundation.

3. The Use of the Third party

This is a key distinct difference between the two. And perhaps one that depicts the dissimilarity and makes it easy for new entrepreneurs to distinguish between the two.

When it comes to corporate communication, the exchange of information usually happens immediately, directly, and all at once. There is no involvement of a third party.

When it comes to public relations, a lot of contact occurs through a third party. Media sources are the third party in this arrangement.

4. Audience

The distinction between corporate communication and public relations is determined by whom the firm is communicating with.

Corporations interact with many individuals, including politicians, government officials, consumers, journalists, and staff. PR experts interact with the general population and the media. They issue news releases, respond to inquiries from the press, and, in times of crisis, are the ones who provide an explanation. Though, what they say during those explanations is communicated internally within the cooperation. So we can see that employees in public relations might be the mouth, but they are speaking the words of those in the corporate communication sector.


These are some of the most significant distinctions between corporate communication and public relations. In the realm of marketing, both are essential. Understanding the connection between these two is crucial.

Corporate communications and public relations both call for comparable skills. You must have strong communication abilities in writing and public speaking. A captivating tale should be created using gathered information to communicate with data effectively.

It is critical to remember that strong cooperation and frequent information sharing are required for corporate communications and public relations to operate effectively. Any misunderstandings between the two groups might cause huge losses. To ensure that responsibilities are completed without a hitch, many organizations consolidate the two sections under single management or head.