One Big Idea by Rahat Beri: Digital media is gamechanger

28 Feb,2013

By Rahat Beri, Chief Operating Officer, Percept Profile


I think digital media is a game changer and will continue to be, not only in the PR industry but in overall Marketing & Communication space.


With the communications convergence and technology innovation, PR is pushed forward at a faster pace than ever before. Everybody knows how social media is impacting today’s communications landscape. It is at the heart of companies’ public relations and marketing initiatives. Increasingly firms are leveraging social media to get an edge, generate Media Coverage and improve brand sentiments. Indian Businesses are embracing this new-age medium. Marketers and brands are increasing the advertising spend on digital platforms to reach out to all relevant brand stakeholders.


I strongly feel the success in Public Relations lies in integrating social media into a larger PR strategy. Social media is becoming a vital, fully integrated part of PR. It will be essential to understand the digital marketing space effects. I foresee the dramatic growth of digital communications within the PR Industry in the coming years. PR just isn’t about business-to-journalist anymore, it’s about consumers, friends, fans, followers – everyone! It’s a two-way communication and engagement now. It’s all about the relationships and flow of information. Search and social media optimization are keys for the future.


Digital media and the social channels provides instantaneous communication power, this allows PR pros to stay ahead of the curve and provide more value to sales and marketing efforts like never before. Social media will continue to define PR. Measurement and strategic communications will be other top areas where more effort will be seen in the near future. The speed at which information, good or bad, travels in the online world today, strongly indicate towards the importance of monitoring and engaging with consumers greater than ever before.


Social media has changed the way we communicate. Whether you’re tweet-crazy, technophobe or addicted to Facebook, everyone will agree that Twitter makes newsworthy stories into headlines much before journalists sit down to pen them for traditional media. Everyone from Amitabh Bachchan to Shashi Tharoor to Anand Mahindra are able to update an avid fan base of followers at the click of a button. Today widely available user-generated content not only benefited brands immensely but introduces a level of consumer engagement that was impossible earlier.


But let me caution, social media is not a one-size-fits-all solution. A social media campaign might work for a majority of demographics but might not yield the desired results unless combined with other media channels as part of a cohesive and integrated communications plan.


I think, in the coming years public relations and social media will continue to become more intertwined as marketing and communication channels. Public relations agencies must adapt to social media trends and must learn the power of social networking to stay competitive.


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