Siddhartha Mukherjee: PR needs CXOs to say ‘I DO’, publicly!

08 Oct,2015

By Siddhartha Mukherjee


On an average, a minimum of 70 percent of a company’s news visibility is basis its spokespersons.  I would like to believe that these spokespersons, typically CXOs, give time for the news piece because they see genuine value in Earned Media initiatives and not for any other reason.


If so, wouldn’t it be nice to see CXOs being publicly vocal about their use and importance of PR in their business. It will be really great if a CEO or a CMO speaks about PR as the future of Brand building and sustenance in their interviews with Financial Papers, TV channels, conversation on Social Media or during their lectures at B-Schools.


If done, it will be one of the best “PR needs PR” initiatives that I have been campaigning for since Day One.


Below, I highlight the top 10 benefits from such Public Disclosures:

1. Within Client’s office, importance & definition of IMC will get redefined: The fact that brands are built through touchpoints across earned, paid and owned stimuli will get corroborated. PR machinery will be made to get involved starting from the planning stage. It creates positive buoyancy for the PR function within the corridors of the Organization.


2. Will give a much-needed acknowledgement and endorsement to PR Industry: After decades of hard work, they will receive a moral boost from their true consumers.


3. Will result in higher fees and investments from Clients into PR Industry: Certification from CXOs, slowly though, will pave the way for higher fees and investments from Clients into this brand building tool.


4. Procurement departments of Clients will be forced to acknowledge PR Firms and services: This should stop them from treating PR Firms and Agencies as vegetable vendors and the likes thereof.


5. Will be acknowledged as the brand custodian during Ad Hiatus: Inflation doesnot allow clients to maintain advertising/paid visibility through the year. Earned Media/PR comes as a ready and robust brand saving samurai during Ad Hiatus.


6. Business & Media Schools will relook at their Course Curriculum in Media and Brand Building: CXOs speaking about the importance of PR in Corporate and Product Brand Reputation Management at campuses will usher in a change in Business & Media School’s course curriculum.


7. That journalism is the next wave of marketing will be established: Journalists covering Marketing & Brands will consciously include questions on PR initiatives for their stories.


8. Will trigger the creation and survival of integrated Communication Firms: Stand alone agencies offering conventional PR or Media relations will be passé.


9. Stronger brands will get created: Brand building will be well orchestrated. Advertising will push for BUY ME. PR/Earned Media will create the surround sound of WHY ME!


10. From a PR Measurement perspective, it will forever eradicate the cancer of Advertising Equivalent Value (AEVs): It will force brand custodians to think on the track of Input, Output and Outcome. PR will reduce its association with jugaad and focus on science of benchmarking, planning and audits.


The benefits are many! The PR Industry is waiting for CXOs to come out in the open and acknowledge that this industry exists and that they bring value on the CXO’s table.


Siddhartha Mukherjee is a senior PR industry professional and currently Senior Vice President, Eikona – Earned Media Planning, Audit and Advisory. The views expressed here are his own.


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