One Big Idea by Ashish Jalan: To excel, we need to attract professional strategic thinkers

14 Feb,2013

By Ashish Jalan, CEO, Concept Communication Ltd


Public relations used to be long considered as a job of ‘liaisoning’. To liaison with media, various stakeholders, opinion makers, influencers etc. Today, PR has a very different role to play and agencies are partnering clients to strategically consult to build reputation, build brands, build corporate image, build consumer affinity and loyalty, build strong opinions and lobbies as well as create shareholder value. To the extent that today, larger agencies have managed to create areas of specialization within the overall PR space. Until recently, this was still a relatively one-way communication from the client and agency. Word of mouth was restricted by geographies and reach.


The advent of social media has changed the dynamics of PR. Voice of consumers, shareholders, opinion-makers can make or break reputations at the speed of a tweet. The game changer for a PR professional today would and can only be to leverage this medium strategically to create as many ambassadors for his brand/client and maintain its relevance constantly. The challenge obviously is to create relevant content and issues which would entice debate and interaction amongst the constituents in favour of the brand/client. With no boundaries, the vibrating impact of such a program is mind numbing, but the opportunity it presents is enormous.


But the real game-changer in the PR agency business, according to me, is going to be the professional strategic thinkers we are able to attract into the industry. Experiential marketing, management, planning experts, who come with domain knowledge, fresh new insights and ideas.


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