Amith Prabhu: Pot Pourri from the world of Public Relations

06 Jul,2015

By Amith Prabhu


This column is unlike any other of the past two years. It is a collection of observations from the past few weeks that are relevant to the Public Relations profession. As we have completed six months of 2015 I have jotted down six thoughts:


Holding group by a PR professional – The only holding group centred on Public Relations is the Daniel J Edelman Inc, the parent of companies such as Edelman and Zeno. However, last month former CEO of BM, Mark Penn announced the creation of Stagwell Group, which is likely to become the first holding company that is focused on Public Relations and built around smart, new age reputation management companies.


Cancelled Media Conferences – I was chatting with a senior journalist who shared with me a peculiar problem. He mentioned a specific company that has made cancelling media conferences a habit. But the interesting part is that the mode of communication to invite journalists is not the same mode used to inform the invitees of the cancellation. This journalist was invited on email followed by a phone call but the cancellation message came from a mobile number which was previously blocked because of spam messages from that number.This led to the journalist travelling from one end of town to another to realise the media conference was cancelled.


Unethical Poaching – We are a free economy but certain decorum would go a long way. In the recent past, several veterans at leading firms have moved on to other companies and broken the rule of non-poaching for a certain period of time leading to a lot of bad blood.


A client blog welcoming the new PR firm – Coca-Cola India recently ended a long relationship with a PR firm and signed up another firm. But the interesting gesture was the substantial blog written by the Director of Corporate Communications on the company website about why they chose a new firm and how they will miss the firm that worked on the business for a long period of time.


Global Power Lists – There are now two global lists of the movers and shakers. The Holmes Report has been publishing an annual list of the Top 100 in house communicators which has always had atleast three India based communicators of large conglomerates featured there. Now, PR Week has created a laundry list focusing on the three global regions which has over a dozen Indians featured in it including those based in the APAC region.


The highest ranking Indian – In a recent management rejig, BM promoted Prema Sagar as vice Chairperson of the APAC region. This is the first time the Founder and Principal of GBM has had a designation enhancement and reports directly to the global CEO. This is arguably the first time  an Indian professional based in India is reporting directly to the global CEO of a Top 10 PR firm.


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