Anchor | One Big Idea by N S Rajan: Paradigm shift in PR – are we geared for it?

24 Jan,2013

By N S Rajan, Managing Director, Ketchum Sampark


In a world in which society and business are largely based on the flow of information and ideas, PR professionals will have to gear themselves to the tectonic shift in the way PR in India will be practised in the coming years as we become one global community.


While organizations will need all the assistance to be able to effectively communicate in a world built on dialogue and transparency, the transition from a policy of being closed and communicating by press release, to building genuine human interactions and conversations which is the need of the hour, is far from easy. Guidelines and parameters need to be established and communicated, spokespersons need to be coached and technologies need to be implemented. Of all the professions, PR is better equipped to be able to do this effectively. Yet practitioners also need to extend their capabilities into new domains such as technology and new media besides analytics in order to be able to deliver on this.


The future of marketing as a whole lies with integration. Agencies that master the 360-degree approach to strategy, ensuring consistent messaging across all platforms including advertising, design, social media and traditional marketing activities, will be the leaders in their field. As the lines between traditional PR and advertising are blurring, a holistic approach is more vital than ever. PR practitioners need to represent themselves effectively, proving their ability to keep up with shifts in the industry.


The increasing importance of mobile and social networks mean that PR professionals must evolve their communications beyond the traditional press release and increase the channels through which they are delivered. With all these shifts in the methods and means of communication, the key to credibility is adopting and adapting to new ideas.


If PR practitioners are going to continue to work closely with their marketing brethren and generate significant results for their Organizations or clients, they need to get more comfortable with analytics.


The measurability of outcomes requires communicators to sharpen their analytical skills, because “big data” is here to stay, and it is strongly informing communications. Knowing how to organize and crunch data, correlate results and correctly interpret and apply data are core skills that enable communicators to turn the masses of data available to us into valuable business intelligence and ROI metrics.


The next few years will see organizations being forced to take the blinkers off and put money behind PR professionals who can get the word out to a wider canvas not only tactfully but more importantly with results. That will separate the men from the boys.


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