Amith Prabhu: Time for more meaningful Engagement with the most important stakeholders

09 Feb,2015

By Amith Prabhu


Without doubt the customers are the most important stakeholders of an organisation. But more often than not we forget our immediate customers who are internal and only focus on the end user. In communications consulting and inhouse communications management, the CEO for the corporate brand and the CMO for the product brand are invariably the key stakeholders – they are the primary customers of the counsel we offer.


While inhouse leads and teams interact with the CEO or CMO, whichever the case maybe. And the consulting firm engages with the CEO and CMO either during a media training, or a media conference or a review meeting, we miss out on cross-learnings that a variety of this business leaders can offer to us collectively in the form of a forum of learning and exchange. A conclave style approach that outlines a futuristic outlook for the profession in the short term is missing.


While events like Praxis are great ways to celebrate the profession and they attract professionals of all levels there is a need for another gathering that is introspective in nature. Wherein the real customer of the communications service spells out his or her experiences and expectations from counsel and support. This could also lead to the fraternity getting a general outlook for the year ahead, if held annually.


The CXOs need to understand in an increased manner how Reputation Management which is called by different names is a management function and not just another vendor service, just because purchase departments get involved in procurement. An integration of ideas and an assimilation of thought process is definitely a need of the hour for mutual benefits. Where the corporate or brand leadership derives more out of the communications function and communications professionals – both inhouse and in consultancies benefit from the knowledge of the experienced leaders.


That being said a possibility of organising a day-long annual conclave is on the anvil and may see the light of day before the next financial year begins. To make it easier to pull off, both in terms of budgets and logistics the plan is to host this in one of the three main metros. The format will be straightforward where a group of CEOs, followed by a group of CMOs and then a group of Chief Communications Officers share perspectives either through a panel discussion or through a short presentation.


The audience will only be senior professionals from inhouse departments and consultancies. The rest of the fraternity can track the conclave through a webcast. The outcome will not only be great insights but also a white paper that guides investments in terms of training, hiring and planning for the year ahead.


So here’s to another gathering that will help do PR for PR. The profession is getting its due. But it needs to happen in smarter and quicker ways.


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