Do Indian Public Relations agencies need to reinvent to thrive?

07 Oct,2013

 

The writing may have been on the wall for a while, but with the strains of the slowdown, almost everyone the mood at the recently held PR and corporate communications conference Praxis 2013 was clear that Public Relations agencies need to reinvent to thrive. Some – though not necessarily on record – even said that in the form that it is practised in India, Public Relations needs to reinvent. Perhaps.

 

MxMIndia asked a group of final year MBA (PR) students from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC), Pune  – Deboshree Bhattacharjee, Nairita Ghosh, Karishma Khanna and Aditi Khare  to speak to a cross-section of industry professionals (in alphabetical order of their last names).

 

Anne Costello – Regional Director – Asia Pacific, Text 100

PR agencies need to look at an integrated picture, without segregating traditional and digital. It’s all about telling the story differently. We do this by creating personas for the buyer. We try to understand the buyer, the problem we are solving for him, the relevance of our story and finally, decide how we will reach him. In the coming times as well, storytelling will be key. Digital is but a medium.

 

Ajay Kakar, CMO – Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group

In recent years, the world has moved a distance. And the role that PR can play in the life of corporate India has changed dramatically. It is no longer only about media relations. The potential for PR agencies to influence CEOs, boardrooms and business has only heightened. But there is need for PR agencies to introspect: what is it that they can actually deliver – measurable and tangible deliveries. And are they staffed to deliver to this new world. They then need to educate the client world, hold their hand – and then deliver. More than ever before, there is an urgent need for PR agencies in India to do their own PR.

 

Sconaid McGeachin, President & CEO (India, Middle East, Africa & Turkey) – Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Digital certainly needs to be embraced. But as consultants in a changing industry, integration is important. PR agencies need to work on developing expertise based on sectors focus and engage in meaningful dialogue with their clients.”

 

Sujit Patil, Vice President – Corporate Communications – Godrej

It is absolutely essential for PR agencies to understand their client’s business better. This includes the context, the environment and the macro-economic picture. They need to stop being tactical and start being strategic. This also means that strategic measurement of PR is a must.

 

David Rockland, Partner/CEO – Ketchum Change & Global Research and Chairman – AMEC

There has to be marked movement towards research, analytics and insights. PR agencies often rush to the tactic, without engaging in the quest for insight creation. Big global companies work in an integrated manner, with a connection between the fun tactic and the reason behind. This can come through a clear understanding of the client, the business and the context.

 

Radhika Shapoorjee – ‎President, South Asia, IPAN Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Geography is now history. In this interconnected world, the terms local and global are dissolving – we live in an emotional economy. The role of public relations, ultimately, is to tap into emotions and bring confidence, thus ensuring that people have trust in your client’s business. While several things change, there are a few that don’t. The strings of the heart, for instance. PR agencies need to remember that and maintain clarity of thought to thrive.

 

Jaideep Shergill, CEO, MSLgroup

Yes, agencies must reinvent and fast if we need to thrive. In fact in some cases, we must change right away before it’s too late. The business is changing and we aren’t keeping up.

 

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2 responses to “Do Indian Public Relations agencies need to reinvent to thrive?”

  1. Ramesh V says:

    These comments are very amateurish. Everybody says the industry has to reinvent the wheel. But nobody says how ? The industry also needs fresh and young blood. People forget after the conference is over as to what is the way forward and the saga about the industry continues from no business to no great talent available

  2. Ramesh V says:

    These comments are very amateurish. Everybody says the industry has to reinvent the wheel. But nobody says how ? The industry also needs fresh and young blood. People forget after the conference is over as to what is the way forward and the saga about the industry continues from no business to no great talent available

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